An In-Depth Review of 2013-2014 Cases – Margie Morris, Reger

AUGUST 2013-2014
Margaret A. Morris, Esquire
Margarita Kron v. PGW
PM 8/29/13
Complainant, landlord, requested that her service be
discontinued on May 4, 2010. PGW chose to utilize a
placeholder account for the “user without a contract.”
Bill accumulated to $3,666. PGW asserts the
Complainant is liable for usage.
ALJ Cheskis found PGW’s action unreasonable. The
Complainant properly requested discontinuance of
service but PGW chose not to shut off the gas but
rather used a “placeholder account until a new customer
of record applied for gas service.” The Complainant’s
tenant resided in the apartment but never put service in
their name.
Margarita Kron v. PGW (cont.)
The practice of “user without a contract” was not used
correctly (meant for short period of time) and cannot be
used retroactively to justify sending the Complainant such a
large outstanding bill for two years when it is undisputed
that she requested that service be discontinued.
PGW made independent decision not to shut off gas when
Complainant requested discontinuance, but instead, utilized
a placeholder account for the service address.
PGW fined $500 for wasting the Complainant’s, as well as
the Commission’s time and resources in attempting to justify
its actions.
Precious Apartments v. PGW
PM 9/12/13
Complainant disputes responsibility for charges as a
result of her tenant’s not timely establishing service.
PGW asserts Complainant is a PA corporation and
must be represented by counsel.
ALJ Pell issued a Prehearing Order requiring the
Complainant to engage counsel and have the
appearance filed with the PUC. The Complainant
did not; Complaint was dismissed.
Precious Apartments v. PGW (cont.)
Complaint was signed by an individual and the
complaint form does not indicate the Complainant is
a PA corporation.
Matter remanded to OALJ to determine if the
Complainant is a PA corporation.
Bertha Jones v. PGW
PM 9/12/13
Complainant alleges unspecified incorrect charges on her bill. PGW
filed a PO alleging that the Complaint lacked specificity.
ALJ Salapa granted the PO setting a deadline for the filing of an
amended complaint. The Complainant did not file an amended
complaint; the Complaint was dismissed. ALJ Salapa distinguished his
ruling from Elliot v. PECO wherein the PUC remanded the hearing
finding that there was an underlying BCS Decision to provide info to the
utility to prepare for the hearing. In the present proceeding, there is no
underlying BCS Decision to inform PECO of the alleged incorrect
charges nor has there been any PAR on the account.
ID adopted.
Douglas Park v. PPL
PM 9/26/13
BCS PAR, when timely appealed, does not become
operational so Complainant only had 1 PUC PAR.
When BCS PAR timely appealed, need only pay
current bills since PAR is stayed.
Tiffany Wolfe v. PGW
PM 10/24/13
C-2012-2321178 & C-2012-2315775
Complainant alleges she did not reside at Service
Location; PGW asserts the matter was disposed of
in the 2010 Complaint wherein a Certificate of
Satisfaction was entered as a result of a settlement
Tiffany Wolfe v. PGW (cont.)
Complainant not credible in light of ALJ Pell noting
her express agreement in the 2010 complaint and
reciting from that hearing’s transcript.
Complainant vacated Service Location without
taking service out of her name; she is legally
responsible for charges while account in her name,
regardless of whether she resided at Service
Kisha Dorsey v. PGW
PM 10/31/13
The Complainant seeks a PAR on her balance which
consists of CAP and non-CAP arrears.
Special Agent Hunt granted a PAR on non-PCAP
Kisha Dorsey v. PGW (cont.)
PUC cannot establish PAR on CAP arrears. 1405(c)
PUC can establish PAR on non-CAP arrears. 1405(b)
PUC should not establish PAR for non-PCAP arrears
based on the Complainant’s poor payment history
and her inability to keep prior Company PAR.
Kisha Dorsey v. PGW (cont.)
Reminded utilities that they have greater discretion
than PUC in granting PARs.
Suggested practice is to enter into additional PARs
for utilities to help payment-troubled customers who
are making good faith payments maintain their
Thomas M. Hartnett v. PPL
PM 11/14/13
Complainant is unable to pay bills and seeks a PAR.
Company previously settled 2009 complaint by
enrolling Complainant into its CAP program.
ALJ Salapa found that the Company properly
explained the increase in the CAP payments several
times; a PAR could not be directed since he
previously defaulted on BCS PAR as part of the
2009 complaint.
Thomas M. Hartnett v. PPL (cont.)
Complainant waived any right to object to testimony
or exhibits by not doing so at the hearing.
BCS PAR never went into effect since Company
enrolled Complainant in its CAP program before the
BCS PAR began.
Thanh Nguyen v. PGW
PM 12/5/13
The Complainant alleges there are incorrect
charges and he should not be responsible for a
makeup bill which was issued after PGW replaced
his meter.
PGW responds that the meter was recording
correctly, but that the AMR was not transmitting the
readings for billing purposes. PGW also indicates
that there was a theft of service at the property.
Thanh Nguyen v. PGW (cont.)
ALJ Vero dismissed the Complaint but found that PGW
violated Section 1501; there were 23 zero readings in 54
months and PGW never went to the property to investigate.
The ALJ found that the removed meter was working within
the PUC guidelines and that PGW properly issued the
makeup bill for previously unbilled service due to theft of
service. The ALJ did note that PGW did provide for a
longer payback period than that required under Section
56.14, and assessed a fine against PGW in the amount of
ID adopted.
Michael John Sottile v. PGW
PM 12/5/13
The Complainant alleges that PGW provided inadequate
service by failing to keep three separate appointments to
turn on his service; failed to bill him for three years; and the
makeup bill contained incorrect charges. PGW asserts that
the missed appointments were due to the confusing service
address (his address was on one street and the entrance to
the home was on another) and a bill was not sent for three
years due to lack of access to the home.
ALJ Heep dismissed the claim regarding incorrect charges,
but fined PGW $200 for Section 1501 violation.
Michael John Sottile v. PGW (cont.)
A civil penalty of $200 is not commensurate with
the violation of poor customer service.
PGW fined$1,000 for failing to issue monthly bills.
Barbara Pezzuto v. Met-Ed
PM 12/19/13
The Complainant alleges incorrect charges and she
received a termination notice. She argues her bills
became excessive once she was placed on budget
billing. The Company denied the allegation and sought
to dismiss the Complaint based on res judicata; her
2010 Complaint raised the same allegations.
ALJ Cheskis dismissed the high bill claim but ruled that
the Complainant was entitled to a PUC PAR. He found
that the PAR that settled the 2010 Complaint was not a
PUC PAR, but rather a Company PAR.
Barbara Pezzuto v. Met-Ed (cont.)
No evidence to sustain high bill allegation.
The account balance grew as a result of not paying
monthly bills in full.
A PAR established to settle a complaint is not a PUC
PUC directed PAR was appropriate.
Stephen Merrigan v. PECO
PM 12/19/13
The Complainant’s service is subject to termination and
he requests an “affordable” PAR. PECO asserts the
Complainant does not pay his bills on time and in full;
he defaulted on PUC PAR.
ALJ Pell dismissed the Complaint for lack of prosecution
noting Complainant attempted to withdraw his
Complaint without prejudice, which was opposed by
PECO. The ALJ found that the request to withdraw or to
reschedule the hearing was not timely submitted and no
good cause was provided.
Stephen Merrigan v. PECO (cont.)
Given Complainant’s pro se status and apparent
good faith attempts to continue the hearing,
Complaint is dismissed without prejudice.
Frank Melfi v. PGW
PM 1/9/14
Complainant alleges PGW improperly filed lien
against his rental property; he requests lien be
removed and that he be re-instated in Landlord
Cooperation Program (LCP).
PGW denies that Complainant was enrolled in LCP
and asserts that the PUC does not have subject
matter jurisdiction over municipal liens.
ALJ Jandebuer dismissed the Complaint for lack of
Frank Melfi v. PGW (cont.)
Concurred with ALJ’s
determination that Commission
lacks subject matter jurisdiction
over municipal liens.
How a company administers its
program falls under Section 1501
(reasonable service).
Kenneth Treiber v. Penelec
PM 1/9/14
The Complainant alleges his tenants are responsible for the electric service
per their lease and he objects to being held responsible for those bills.
Penelec states that the electric accounts were in Complainant's name at the
relevant times making him responsible for the services rendered.
ALJ Long sustained the Complaint in part, finding that with the exception of
a two-week period for one of the accounts, the Complainant was not
responsible for the past due balances for the three accounts. ALJ Long
stated that Penelec was in a superior position retaining records of its
contacts with customers. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to require specific
evidence from Penelec to establish that the account is properly placed in the
landlord's name.
Kenneth Treiber v. Penelec (cont.)
Penelec cannot transfer service into a tenant's name at the
request of the landlord without the tenant personally
requesting service.
Landlord can only request service be taken out of landlord’s
home (note: landlord cannot discontinue service without
tenant’s consent).
Service was in Complainant's name with his knowledge; bills
were sent to his home address.
Commission does not have jurisdiction to settle a private
financial dispute between a landlord and tenant.
Penelec directed to review three accounts and determine
what Complainant was billed and to rebill that amount (with
any adjustments).
Robyn Irving v. PGW
PM 2/6/14
The Complainant objects to a make-up bill for 48
months of unbilled service. PGW alleges that the AMR
was incorrectly programmed and only transmitted half
of the gas passing through the meter.
ALJ Nguyen dismissed the Complaint and found that
PGW’s explanation for the meter’s AMR malfunction
reasonable; the Complainant is responsible for the gas
Complainant filed Exceptions arguing that she does not
bear the burden of PGW’s programming error and
wants a longer PAR for the makeup bill.
Robyn Irving v. PGW (cont.)
Programming error does not absolve customer from
duty to pay for services rendered; she benefitted
from utility service. §56.12(5)(ii) permits utility to
render makeup bill when an actual meter reading
establishes that the customer was under-billed due
to an error in the remote reading device.
48-month repayment period offered by PGW was
consistent with 56.14(2).
No LPCs permitted so long as 56.14 PAR in effect.
Kimberly Szczepanski-Galindez v. PGW
PM 2/6/14
The Complainant objects to makeup bill for unbilled services as a
result of a faulty AMR device. PGW asserts the makeup bill was
consistent with Section 56.14.
ALJ Vero sustained the Complaint, in part. Complainant showed the
AMR and actual meter were malfunctioning, but failed to show that
PGW acted improperly in issuing makeup bill. The meter test
reflected that the meter exceeded ± 2% regulation; PGW must
issue a new makeup bill reflecting the credit ($57.09).
Complainant filed Exceptions arguing she should not be responsible
for unbilled charges from a meter found to have malfunctioned.
Kimberly Szczepanski-Galindez v. PGW
Recorded evidence shows that Complainant
consumed more gas than was originally billed.
Meter accuracy exceeded the 2% tolerance level
prescribed in §59.22; billing credit of $57.09 is
warranted for fast meter.
Amortization period of 36 months was longer than
required by §56.14(2).
Gary Eckenrode v. PECO
PM 2/6/14
Complainant alleges PECO took too long to restore service
after Hurricane Sandy. PECO asserted that there were over
850,000 outages.
ALJ Guhl found that PECO’s standard protocol was
reasonable to restore Complainant‘s service considering the
major storm and number of outages.
Complainant filed Exceptions arguing that
PECO’s Tree and Vegetation Maintenance
Policy contributed to the number of
persons that were affected by the power
Gary Eckenrode v. PECO (cont.)
Vegetation Maintenance Policy played no role in
loss of service during Hurricane Sandy.
PECO restored service to Complainant within seven
days (transformer only served seven customers so
low priority).
Frank Veasey v. PGW
PM 2/6/14
Complainant alleges that his service was
terminated without notice, despite being
current on his bill and PGW refused to
restore service despite being presented
with a medical certificate. PGW admitted
that it properly terminated service for
non-payment and that it was unable to
restore service due to safety repairs
required at the Service Location.
Frank Veasey v. PGW (cont.)
Service was terminated for unpaid actual charges
not for a budget amount.
PGW is not required to restore service to a
customer when a hazardous condition exists under
§59.26; repairs must be made and verified before
PGW will restore service.
PGW may impose security deposit under §56.32
and a reconnection fee pursuant to §56.41.
Michael Prendergast v. PGW
PM 2/20/14
The Complainant challenged the makeup bill arguing his
reduced usage occurred because of recently installed
energy efficient appliances. PGW alleges that following a
zero reading, it discovered that the ERT failed to record
usage due to high magnetic counts.
At the hearing, ALJ Vero ordered PGW to test the meter
and submit the test results as a late-filed exhibit.
ALJ found PGW properly issued makeup bill and offered
48 month PAR per Section 56.14. Meter tested within PUC
guidelines, but PGW improperly assessed LPC since the
makeup bill was a disputed estimated bill.
Michael Prendergast v. PGW (cont.)
PGW permitted to rebill for unbilled usage due to ERT
failure. §56.12(5)(ii).
Conservation credit for 20% is appropriate in limited
circumstances: ERT failure was not fault of Complainant and
time period (more than 4 years) that error occurred.
Late-filed exhibit with accurate BTU readings, based on
plate readings from each gas appliance, was properly
admitted; Complainant was offered but declined to be
present for testing.
Admission of usage records was appropriate to show trends
before and after magnetic interference with meter.
Patrick McKay v. WPP
PM 2/20/14
Complainant alleged WPP failed to notify him of a high meter reading
(10x normal usage) and he is being billed for a smart meter that has not
been installed. WPP asserts bills are correct as rendered (and offered 5month PAR) and smart meter surcharge is authorized by PUC.
ALJ Dunderdale sustained the Complaint in part, finding (1) the
Complainant was properly charged for the electricity recorded by the
meter; (2)smart meter surcharge is authorized by PUC to reflects cost to
develop a plan to deploy smart meters; (3) WPP violated Section 1501 by
not notifying the Complainant until March 2013 of his high meter reading in
December 2012 (Company estimated usage for billing purposes), which
denied him the opportunity to revise his lifestyle/usage. Penalty of $500
assessed pursuant to Section 69.1201(c).
ID adopted.
Patrick McKay v. WPP (cont.)
Penalty affirmed for failure
of WPP to provide
adequate customer service.
Encouraged WPP to re-offer
the 5-month PAR previously
declined by Complainant.
Is key!
Marcus Brown v. PGW
PM 3/20/14
Complainant alleges he should not be responsible
for increased usage due to a leak on his side of the
meter. PGW tariff clearly states that it is not
responsible for any lines or leaks beyond the meter.
ALJ Heep found PGW was not required to bear
cost of gas that escaped after meter due to leak.
The Complainant’s balance was due in large part to
paying less than billed on of the monthly bills.
Marcus Brown v. PGW (cont.)
PGW tariff is clear: leak after
meter is the responsibility of the
Outstanding balance is due to
nonpayment of monthly bills in
Shymar McBride v. UGI
PM 3/20/14
Complainant alleges UGI refuses to restore his gas
service until an outstanding balance for another service
location was satisfied. UGI filed PO asserting res
judicata based on his 2013 Formal Complaint.
ALJ Salapa treated the PO as a Motion for Judgment
on the pleading since res judicata must be pled in New
Matter, not PO. ALJ found requirements of res judicata
were met.
ID adopted.
Shymar McBride v. UGI (cont.)
Joint Dissent: Cawley and Brown
 Complaints were not identical.
 Company improperly pled Complainant’s
responsibility for the previous Service Location in
Answer and not New Matter; Complainant not
properly advised of issue.
 Complainant, pro se, is penalized for failing to
address every allegation that a utility’s lawyer
makes in its Answer.
Alliance of Youth Ministries v. PECO
PM 4/3/14
Complainant alleges PECO is holding them responsible
for usage associated with a prior tenant. PECO asserts
the Complainant is playing the corporate name game.
ALJ Pell found the Complainant accepted responsibility
for the charges when it entered into a PAR for the
balance that included charges from date of purchase of
property and PECO’s Tariff permitted the back billing.
Alliance of Youth Ministries v. PECO (cont.)
PECO’s Tariff authorizes the use of the deed when
determining liability for a past due balance.
PECO’s business records are an exception to the
hearing rule.
ALJ properly weighed the evidence and testimony.
PUC-approved Tariff provisions are prima facie
Complainant had burden of proof that PECO’s decision
to back-bill it violated the Code, Regs on Order of
PUC; they did not carry burden.
Michael Kline v. Penelec
PM 4/3/14
Complainant alleges his makeup bill was the result
of an employee error in using an estimated reading
rather than the obtained actual reading for three
bills; two intervening bills were also incorrectly
ALJ Hoyer found the bills correct as rendered noting
that the Complainant has obligation to pay for
unbilled service per Section 56.14.
Michael Kline v Penelec (cont.)
Penelec incorrectly billed the customer for estimated
readings rather than actual readings obtained.
Customer received five consecutive estimated bills in
violation of Section 56.12 which constituted
unreasonable service under Section 1501.
Company did not provide good faith explanation
as to why billing errors were made.
Civil penalty of $500 assessed.
Mark Mazza v. PECO
PM 4/23/14
Complainant filed Complaint # 6 challenging
termination notice for nonpayment arguing that since
the US Supreme Court had not ruled on his prior
complaints, his complaints were still pending at the PUC.
PECO filed a New Matter alleging abuse of process
and requested that the Complainant to be barred from
filing future complaints until the balance of the last PUC
PAR ($9,742) was paid.
ALJ Barnes dismissed the Complaint, denied 2nd PUC
PAR and granted PECO’s request to bar future filings
until PAR balance is satisfied.
Mark Mazza v. PECO (cont.)
ALJ not required to make finding that the Complainant lacked
credibility; Complainant failed to carry burden of proof for his
Chapter 56 must be construed in the context of establishing a
process for resolving disputes, informal and formal complaints per
Once PUC renders a final order on a formal complaint, there is no
longer any pending dispute or complaint with the meaning of
§56.141(2); at that point all disputes and complaints have been
resolved within meaning of §56.141(2);
Stay per §56.141(2) is lifted unless PUC Final Order is stayed by
Commonwealth Court;
Per §56.2 definition of PAR: the balance of the last PAR is the
undisputed amount: last PAR negotiated on 8/2012 on balance of
Mark Mazza v. PECO (cont.)
Failure to except to a FOF is a waiver of issue.
Complaints #1-5 have been resolved in PECO’s favor—so no
pending offset claim; PUC waived §56.141(2) authorizing PECO to
terminate for failure to pay $9,742.85 while Complaints #7-9
No change in income so no subsequent PUC PAR since he defaulted
on PUC PAR established in Complaint # 2 per §1405(d);
PECO carried its burden of proof: Mazza has abused process in
order to enjoy continuous electric service while his arrearage
continued to increase;
Mazza, any member of his family, or anyone else associated with
the account is barred from filing informal/formal complaint for
Service Location until $9,742.85 paid;
Jere Lefever v. PPL
PM 4/23/14
Complainant alleges that PPL stated he would not
be responsible for the electric arrearage
accumulated by tenant since he corrected the
foreign load at the property.
ALJ Colwell sustained the Complaint based on PPL’s
refusal to enter customer contacts; allegation of
Section 1501 violation was not refuted; Company
fined $1,000.
Jere Lefever v. PPL (cont.)
Fine reduced to $500 since this was a one-time,
isolated incident, not intentional, and since PPL
cooperated with PUC.
Danielle Douglas v. PGW
PM 5/22/14
Complainant alleged incorrect charges and high bill.
PGW asserts it adjusted the bills after the Complainant
disputed the $71.75 credit provided by PGW. The
meter tested fast per §59.22(a).
ALJ Hoyer sustained the Complaint finding PGW did
not offer evidence to support its calculations. The ALJ
did note that PGW conducted a high bill investigation
which revealed that the Complainant’s heat source was
not functioning properly causing the heater to run
continuously; PGW is not responsible for Complainant’s
heat system. PGW was directed to recalculate the bill
and refund the meter testing fee.
Danielle Douglas v. PGW (cont.)
PGW ordered within 30 days to submit specific
information regarding the meter testing and the
supporting calculation for the bill adjustments.
Complainant has opportunity to file response to
PGW submission.
PGW encouraged to attempt amicable resolution.
Walter & Donna Painter v. Aqua PA
PM 5/22/14
Complainant alleges the DSIC surcharge consists of unfair trade
practices, conversion and breach of contract since surcharge is applied
to entire bill not prorated to effective date of surcharge. Aqua
asserting its service and bills conform to its tariff that surcharge applies
to bills issued/rendered not services rendered.
ALJ Johnson ruled that a hearing was not necessary since there was no
factual dispute, and as a matter of law, the Company is permitted to
assess the DSIC surcharge on a bills rendered basis.
Walter & Donna Painter v. Aqua PA (cont.)
DSIC surcharge is consistent with Act 11, tariff and
PUC precedent.
Legality of surcharge on “bills rendered” is wellestablished.
Willie Clark v. PGW
PM 5/22/14
Complainant alleged that PGW was threatening to
terminate her service without proper notice. PGW
denied the allegation. Six months later, the
Complainant filed a petition seeking to withdraw
her Complaint without prejudice; PGW did not
object to the requested withdrawal.
Willie Clark v. PGW (cont.)
Complainant demonstrated a change of facts that
require the reopening of the proceedings.
Since Complaint was withdrawn without prejudice, is
more efficient to reopen the litigation, rather than
requiring another formal complaint be filed.
Young & Haros, LLC v. Met-Ed
PM 5/22/14
Complainants allege reliability as a result of the outage
related to Hurricane Sandy; seeks to switch his EDC to
PPL and alleges Section 1501 violation for the way he
was treated.
ALJ Jandebeur dismissed the Complaint finding that the
restoration time frame was not unreasonable; Company
followed protocol in prioritizing restoration (i.e. hospital,
critical infrastructure, etc.). The inaccurate information
provided by call center did not rise to unreasonable
service. Complainant can change EGS not EDC.
Young & Haros, LLC v. Met-Ed (cont.)
Where the Borough and EDC were lawfully
empowered to provide service, the preference of
the customer was controlling. Aspinall v. DQE.
ALJ’s rationale that PUC rejected rational in
Aspinall is incorrect.
No duplication of services if customer permitted to
switch EDC.
Customer permitted to switch from Met-Ed to PPL.
No §1501 violation.
David M. Williams v. West Penn
PM 5/22/14
Complainant alleges his AC unit was damaged as a
result of a power surge; he seeks damages and
acceptable voltage levels.
David M. Williams v. West Penn (cont.)
Testimony supports Company violated § 57.14(b) by
providing service more than 5% below standard for
outage more than one minute in at least one
Facts do not support civil penalty.
David Kearse & Ronald Walker v. PGW
PM 5/22/14
Complainant alleges liens for
unpaid gas bills should be
removed – his tenant’s owe
money – not him. PGW filed PO
based on PUC’s lack of
David Kearse & Ronald Walker v. PGW (cont.)
PUC retains jurisdiction over service and
compliance with tariff provisions.
PGW placed account in name of person not on
lease in violation of its tariff.
Matter remanded for hearing.
Crystal Garber v. PECO
PM 6/5/14
Complainant alleged she is not responsible for outstanding
charges because she did not reside at the Service Location
and that PECO failed to discontinue service upon her
mother's request. PECO denied all allegations.
ALJ Melillo dismissed the Complaint with prejudice for
failure to appear noting that (1) she did not receive any
notice that the Complainant was unable to attend prior to
the hearing date (Complainant's mother advised at hearing
that Complainant is incarcerated and that she has Power of
Attorney); and (2) Power of Attorney does not authorize a
non-attorney to represent an individual in a formal PUC
Crystal Garber v. PECO (cont.)
Complainant's incarceration was "unavoidable"; her
failure to appear should not be construed as a
waiver to participate. §5.245.
Complaint should be dismissed without prejudice.
Joy Turner v. PGW
PM 6/19/14
Complainant seeks a PAR with mixed CAP and nonCAP arrears. PGW asserts a PAR is not permitted
since CAP arrears and she previously defaulted on
2-Company PARs.
ALJ Heep directed PAR for non-CAP arrears based
on Hewitt v. PECO.
PGW filed Exceptions arguing that Complainant
must pay off CAP arrears before receiving PUC
PAR for non-CAP arrears citing Cooper v. PECO.
Complainant did not file Replies to Exceptions.
Joy Turner v. PGW (cont.)
Complainant is not worthy of PUC PAR for non-CAP
arrears: the balance exceeds $14,000; 2-defaulted
Company PARs; and only two payments within 12
months of the hearing.
PGW issue of whether CAP arrears must be
satisfied first was moot since complaint not worthy
of PUC PAR for non-CAP arrears.
Alexander Smith v. PGW
PM 7/9/14
Complainant disputes the make-up bill for 48
months of unbilled service that PGW alleges was
the result of meter tampering.
ALJ Jones ruled that the identity of who tampered
with the meter is irrelevant to the obligation for
unbilled services. She limited the unauthorized
period to 21 months and directed a new bill with no
usage for gas stove or water heater included.
Alexander Smith v. PGW (cont.)
No evidence that meter was tampered with; ERT was
Complainant’s testimony established he did not use gas
during the disputed period.
CAP customer usage is reflected on monthly bill but at a
discounted rate.
PGW’s testimony and evidence was conflicting and
contained inaccuracies.
No makeup bill since no usage.
PGW’s response to leak was referred to
BIE for review.
Michael Prendergast v. PGW
PM 8/21/14
PGW filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the PUC’s February 27, 2014
Order which required PGW to issue a 20% conservation credit due to the
six-year period the meter malfunction and the Complainant did not receive
adequate price signals related to his gas consumption.
PGW argues the conservation credit constitutes impermissible compensatory
damages, which are beyond the PUC’s jurisdiction. PGW asserts that after
the PUC obtained jurisdiction over PGW in 2000, it agreed, in limited
circumstances, to the application of the conservation credit, because it was
a way for PGW to voluntarily provide customer satisfaction to those
customers who experienced the inconvenience of receiving bills for
previously unbilled services.
PGW argues that the conservation credit is only applied to their makeup
bills, not other regulated utilities.
Michael Prendergast v. PGW (cont.)
PUC’s authority permits equitable relief involving
disputes within their purview.
Conservation credit is not monetary damages but rather
constitutes an individual rate preference for the
Complainant, which the PUC deems reasonable.
PUC troubled by PGW’s sudden unwillingness to agree
to the credit given the facts of the Complaint (i.e., meter
malfunctioned for six years; no recorded evidence that
the Complainant was at fault for the meter malfunction;
and PGW’s recent application of credit in Robyn Irving
v. PGW).
Michael Prendergast v. PGW (cont.)
The facts in the present proceeding provided reasonable and
substantial basis for departing from PUC prior order in Sottile v. PGW,
in which the PUC found requested relief was for damages.
Remand necessary to determine if the level of conservation credit
sufficient to remedy the inaccurate price signals that the Complainant
received prior to the correction of his meter.
PGW directed to submit into the record the results of any gas usage
analysis prepared in its investigation of this complaint proceeding.
PGW directed to prepare gas usage analysis estimating what the
Complainant’s usage would have been if the meter were not corrected
and a summary of the Complainants actual consumption after the meter
was corrected.
Leona Oliphant v. PGW
PM 8/21/14
Complainant seeks PAR to restore gas service. PGW
asserts PAR not warranted given the high balance and
four previously defaulted PARs, including the CAP
ALJ Cheskis directed PGW to reconnect service and
directed a PAR for the non-CAP arrears.
PGW filed Exceptions arguing that prior to the PAR for
non-CAP arrears becoming effective, the Complainant
must first satisfy all CAP arrears.
Leona Oliphant v. PGW (cont.)
A PAR for the non-CAP arrears where the
Complainant is likely to default is not in the
customer’s best interest.
A PUC PAR for the non-CAP arrears is not
appropriate, given the Complainant’s poor payment
history and default of prior PARs.
PUC did not address issue as to whether a customer
must satisfy CAP arrears before a PAR for non-CAP
arrears become effective.
T: 215.495.6524
E: [email protected]

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