Constituents from state Sen. Christine Tartaglione’s 2nd District and from throughout the Philadelphia region will have a chance to comment publicly on PECO Energy’s latest proposed rate increase during a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission hearing on June 14 at 6 p.m. at Kingdom Life Christian Center, also known as the Devon Theater, in the Mayfair section of Northeast Philadelphia.
The hearing will be the last of five that the PUC has scheduled to gather public input on PECO’s requested electric rate hike. The utility company filed its new rate request on March 29, prompting the Commonwealth’s Office of Consumer Advocate to file a formal complaint. The PUC has suspended the proposed rate increase pending a thorough investigation of PECO’s request.
A key part of that investigation includes five public input hearings to be held throughout the Philadelphia region when constituents will have an opportunity to express their views on the proposed rate hike. Constituents may testify in person and/or by submitting printed testimony. In addition to representing consumer interests at the hearings, the Consumer Advocate will review PECO’s filings, including costs and expenses claimed by the company, its revenue requirements, operating and maintenance expenses, income tax expense and quality of service. PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge will review the evidence and issue a final decision on the rate increase request.
If the increase is granted, PECO has said it will recover an estimated annual increase in electric distribution rates of $81.9 million, which would be a 6.7 percent increase over present distribution revenues. The rate hike would result in a 2.2 percent increase in PECO’s total revenues. Under the proposal, a residential customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours per month would see their total electric bill increase by $3.28 a month (3.2 percent) to $105.93. PECO also proposes to increase the monthly residential customer charge from $8.45 to $12.50. The new rates would go into effect on Jan. 1, 2019.
PECO last received approval for a rate increase in December 2015 when customers saw a four percent hike. The company provides electricity to about 1.6 million customers in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Philadelphia and York counties.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings and provide comments. Testimony will become part of the record on which the PUC will issue its final decision. Those wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to prepare their statements beforehand and to bring several copies, including two for the court reporter (stenographer) and several copies for the administrative law judges and other participants. The parties may ask a commenter to explain or clarify their testimony.
Anyone with special needs may call the PUC Scheduling Office AT LEAST FIVE BUSINESS DAYS IN ADVANCE of the hearing at 717-787-1399 to arrange accommodations. For the hearing impaired, the AT&T Relay Service number is 1-800-654-5988.
Those who require a language interpreter should call the PUC Scheduling Office AT LEAST 10 BUSINESS DAYS IN ADVANCE at 717-787-1399 to submit a request.
Visit www.puc.pa.gov for more information about the ratemaking process and additional hearing dates and locations.