Pa. PUC Encourages Shopping Consumers To Review End of Contract Notices, Take Action To Avoid Rollover Onto Variable Rate
April 26, 2023
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The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today publicized that it, "continues encouraging consumers who have contracts with competitive energy suppliers to know their contract expiration dates and to carefully review contract renewal notices from suppliers detailing energy shopping options and next steps."
The PUC said, "The Commission notes that last spring, as energy prices began to rise steeply across Pennsylvania, more than 80,000 consumers enrolled with competitive suppliers through their utility’s Standard Offer Program (Standard Offer) – which provides customers with a 'standard' fixed-rate product offering for one year at 7% below the utility’s Price to Compare at the time of enrollment. At the same time, thousands of utility customers switched to various other competitive supplier offers that were lower than their utilities’ energy prices."
"A year later, those customers are now starting to receive contract renewal notices from their supplier -- including an Initial Notice 45-60 days prior to the contract’s expiration date and an 'Options Notice' at least 30 days before their contract ends. Consumers should read the Options Notice carefully as it includes important information on the supplier’s proposed changes to current terms of service as well as other consumer options -- including shopping for another supplier or returning to the utility’s default service. Consumers can also choose to contact their current supplier to discuss other possible offers and products," the PUC said
"When they receive the Options Notice from their supplier, the PUC urges consumers to act -- otherwise, they may find themselves dealing with a potentially more expensive variable-rate product with their supplier which could fluctuate up and down monthly," the PUC said
"It is vital for all energy shopping customers to watch their mail or email closely for important contract renewal notices with ‘end of contract’ dates and details. And it is equally important to act before your supplier contract ends to avoid potentially expensive changes in energy prices," the PUC said
"Across Pennsylvania, tens of thousands of consumers are currently enrolled with competitive energy suppliers, some of whom may have enrolled with a competitive supplier for the first-time last year when natural gas and electric prices spiked," said PUC Chairman Gladys Brown Dutrieuille. "The Commission strongly urges all shopping customers to watch closely for important contract renewal notices with 'end of contract' dates and details -- and reminds them that they must act and choose an option as their contract is ending."
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As stated by the PUC, "Chairman Dutrieuille emphasized that Pennsylvania regulations stipulate that if a customer fails to respond with one of these options, they may automatically remain with the current supplier on a variable-rate product which could fluctuate up and down monthly without any early termination fees."
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