Senate Committee Passes Stefano Bill Enabling Reduced Ratepayer Costs

HARRISBURG – To reduce ratepayers’ costs and offer public utilities flexibility, the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee passed legislation sponsored by Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32).

Senate Bill 1174 would enable a public utility to petition the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) for relief from a law, regulation or policy statement under the PUC’s jurisdiction if the utility can show it will reduce costs for ratepayers and operate in a more efficient and effective manner.

“Consumers continue to see increases in their utility bills and we need to find ways to reduce them,” Stefano said. “As every utility operates differently, this will give each of them an opportunity to seek cost savings that will provide the most benefit to every ratepayer.”

The utility must provide supporting data and information to the PUC explaining the benefit obtained from the waiver and how it will save costs or avoid future ratepayer impacts. The request must also include an evaluation procedure to determine the effectiveness of the waiver or program that will be instituted due to the waiver. It should also indicate how safety and reliability standards will be maintained or exceeded.

Having received committee support, the bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

This legislation is part of a package of bills sponsored by Stefano to further reduce ratepayer costs on utilities.

CONTACT:  Amanda Cuteri, 717-787-7175

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