Pa. PUC Proposes To Continue Five Day "Waiting Period" For Gas Customer Switches
Says Will "Soon" Propose Regulatory Changes To Accelerate Switching Process
October 25, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Pennsylvania PUC issued a tentative order that would continue the five-day waiting period when a customer chooses a natural gas supplier (NGS) or returns to natural gas distribution company (NGDC) service and would, therefore, maintain the waiver of the Commission’s regulations at 52 Pa. Code §§ 59.93(2) (relating to customer contacts with NGSs) and 59.94 (relating to time frames for switching), to the extent necessary to maintain the five-day waiting period
The tentative order would continue the waivers for 3 years through the end of October 2021
Current regulations require a 10-day waiting period, but the PUC previously granted waivers to shorten the period to 5 days. Such prior waivers were to sunset today
"While the Guidelines Final Order provided a sunset date of October 25, 2018 for the interim guidelines, we believe that another extension of these guidelines during the pendency of the NGS switching rulemaking is warranted. This Commission stresses the need to move forward in improving switching timeframes and notes that reverting from the five-day timeframe to the ten-day period outlined in our current regulations would be counterproductive, confusing and lead to renewed customer frustration with the natural gas supply market," the PUC said
The PUC noted that, in a rulemaking proceeding, it is considering regulations to address the process for transferring a customer’s account from a service of last resort (SOLR) provider to a competitive natural gas supplier (NGS or supplier), from one supplier to another supplier and from a supplier to SOLR service.
The PUC said in its tentative order that, as a result of such rulemaking process, "the Commission will soon be proposing regulatory changes intended to accelerate this process while preserving safeguards to prevent the unauthorized switching of a customer’s account, also known as 'slamming,'"
Given the pending rulemaking, "we propose a continuation of the waivers of 52 Pa. Code §§ 59.93(2) and 59.94, to the extent necessary, to continue the five-day waiting period for an additional three years through October 25, 2021. The Commission believes it is appropriate to maintain these interim guidelines while the NGS switching rulemaking proceeds and that this timeframe will allow the Commission to complete the rulemaking that will revise our regulations at 52 Pa. Code §§ 59.91-59.99."