The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) on April 21 finalized regulation changes (Docket No. L-2015-2465942) that will provide customers who choose among competitive natural gas suppliers with greater, uniform detail on their disclosure statements – and more timely information on “contract renewal” and “change in terms” notices.
The Commission voted 5-0 to approve regulations that require natural gas suppliers (NGSs) to display key contractual terms and conditions more plainly for customers on both fixed- and variable-rate products, provide historical pricing data on their products, and prominently mark customer notices prior to contract expiration or changes in terms
Among the new requirements for suppliers are the following:
- More contractual information on conditions of price variability, including whether there are limits on variability;
- A clear statement of the price per unit for the first billing cycle of natural gas generation;
- Access to historical pricing information;
- Separate mailings for either fixed-duration contracts that are expiring, or any changes to terms of service;
- A separate NGS contract summary along with the full disclosure statement to ensure NGSs highlight key terms and conditions in a uniform, consistent manner;
- New requirements for contract “Initial Notices” and customer “Options Notices” prior to the expiration of a contract or change in terms;
- A renewed emphasis on highlighting changes in pricing or any terms and conditions – including a fixed rate becoming a month-to-month rate that includes a 30-day notice of any price change; and
- Prominent marking on the front of the “Options Notice” envelope, clearly stating that it contains important information regarding the expiration or changes in terms of a customer’s electric supply contract.
The regulations must be reviewed by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission, Attorney General’s Office, Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee, and House Consumer Affairs Committee before going into effect.
Customers who wish to compare options and pricing for natural gas service can visit the PUC’s newly redesigned shopping website, www.PAGasSwitch.com.