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Pennsylvania Settles With Another Energy Supplier For Deceptive Marketing During Polar Vortex

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has settled with another retail energy supplier to resolve complaints about deceptive marketing and billing practices during the brutally cold winter of 2013-2014.

The PUC settled with Connecticut-based Public Power LLC for violations that occurred from January to April 2014. The commission’s independent enforcement arm, the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement (I&E), found 119 instances in which Public Power did not honor its "15% price protection plan" and overbilled. The PUC said 50 customers were affected in the electric service territories of Duquesne Light Co., Peco Energy Co. and PPL Electric Utilities Corp.

Public Power agreed to pay a civil penalty of $72,500, provide refunds to the 50 customers of more than $6,500 and change its operations to prevent overbilling to avoid a formal complaint from I&A and further litigation.

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office said in 2014 that it received hundreds of calls and complaints from consumers regarding dramatic spikes in the cost of their electricity during the winter (see Daily GPIAug. 10March 27).

The AG ultimately filed legal action against IDT Energy Inc., Pennsylvania Gas & Electric, Blue Pilot Energy, Resolve Power and Hiko Energy LLC. Some of those companies have reached settlements with the AG and the PUC, while others await approval (see Daily GPIDec. 4).

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