Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Bulletin website includes the following: Rulemakings by State agencies; Proposed Rulemakings by State agencies; State agency notices; the Governor’s Proclamations and Executive Orders; Actions by the General Assembly; and Statewide and local court rules.

PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 01-638




[52 PA.CODE CH. 62]


Customer Information Disclosure Requirements for Natural Gas Distribution Companies and Natural Gas Suppliers

[31 Pa.B. 2005]

   The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (Commission) on November 29, 2000, adopted a final rulemaking order establishing regulations governing information provided on customer bills. The contact persons are Ahmed Kalolo, Bureau of Conservation, Economics and Energy Planning, (717) 787-2139 and Lawrence F. Barth, Law Bureau, (717) 772-8579.

Executive Summary

   On June 22, 1999, Governor Tom Ridge signed into law the Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act, 66 Pa.C.S. §§ 2201--2212 (act). The act revised 66 Pa.C.S. (relating to Public Utility Code) (code), so that the natural gas industry would be restructured so as to allow the retail sale of natural gas in an open market. In short, individual customers would be able to choose from independent suppliers of gas who would not necessarily be affiliated with the local gas utility.

   In enacting this legislation, the General Assembly made it clear that information provided on customer bills and released to other parties should continue to be a matter for Commission oversight. See sections 2205(c)(2) and 2206(c) of the act (relating to duties of natural gas distribution companies; and consumer protections and customer service). To fulfill this obligation, the Commission convened a working group to develop suggestions which would assist the Commission in this area. Based upon the product of that group and upon our experience in the restructuring of the electric industry, we issued interim customer information guidelines.1 These final-form regulations are intended to supplant the Interim Guidelines and govern the provision of customer information in the retail natural gas industry.

   For retail natural gas users to enjoy the potential benefits available through competition, they not only must be able to compare prices, but to understand the terms of their natural gas service and, where possible, to compare the terms and conditions of service offered by different providers. The regulations will ensure that, to the greatest extent possible, these terms and conditions of service will be provided in a uniform fashion across this Commonwealth so as to ensure a smooth transition to full retail choice through the implementation of uniform Statewide procedures.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on May 11, 2000, the Commission submitted a copy of the notice of proposed rulemaking, published at 30 Pa.B. 2605 (May 27, 2000), to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House and Senate Committee for review and comment.

   Under section 5(c) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC and the Committees were provided with copies of the comments received during the public comment period, as well as other documents when requested. In preparing these final-form regulations, the Commission has considered the comments from IRRC, the Committees and the public.

   Under section 5.1(d) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5a(d)), on February 21, 2001, these final-form regulations were deemed approved by the House and Senate Committees. Under section 5.1(e) of the Regulatory Review Act, IRRC met on March 8, 2001, and approved the final-form regulations.

Public Meeting held
November 29, 2000

Commissioners Present:  Robert K. Bloom, Vice Chairperson; Nora Mead Brownell; Aaron Wilson, Jr.; Terrance J. Fitzpatrick

Final Rulemaking Order

By the Commission:

   On March 2, 2000, we adopted a proposed rulemaking order establishing customer information disclosure requirements for the natural gas industry in this Commonwealth. The order was entered on March 6, 2000, at Docket No. L-00000149. The regulations, which are required under sections 2205(c) and 2206(c) of the act, were undertaken as part of the implementation duties performed by the Commission under the act. Signed into law on June 22, 1999, by Governor Tom Ridge, the act revised the code by adding Chapter 22 (relating to natural gas competition) restructuring the natural gas utility industry.

   By this final-form rulemaking order, we adopt regulations which require each natural gas supplier (NGS) to furnish adequate and accurate information that enables consumers to make informed choices regarding the purchase of all natural gas services offered by that provider. In general, our regulations mandate that all information shall be provided to customers in an understandable format that allows them to compare prices and services on a uniform basis. This is consistent with our policy statement in § 69.251 (relating to plain language--statement of policy) regarding the use of plain language in all written communications with consumers. Moreover, by this final rulemaking order, we direct that all natural gas providers strictly adhere to that policy statement.

   To facilitate the establishment of interim requirements prior to the promulgation of regulations, we proposed a set of interim requirements regarding customer information disclosure. On October 20, 1999, after receiving and considering written comments, we adopted these interim guidelines.2 Through this order and the final-form regulations in Annex A, we are adopting permanent regulations to supplant the interim guidelines. These final-form regulations will govern the provision of customer information in the retail natural gas industry.

   The proposed regulations in Docket No. L-00000149 were published for comment in 30 Pa.B. 2605, with a 45-day comment period established. Written comments were provided by IRRC, the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA), Community Legal Services, Inc. (CLS), CNG Retail Services Corporation (CNGR), the Consumer Advisory Council (CAC), the Pennsylvania Gas Association (PGA) and Lawrence G. Spielvogel, Inc. Discussions about the proposed rulemaking also occurred during meetings with IRRC.

   Following review and consideration of the comments and discussions, the Commission has developed final-form regulations. The overall objective of these final-form regulations, of assuring that consumers have accurate and adequate information to meaningfully participate in a competitive market for natural gas, has not changed. However, in response to the persuasive comments of several interested parties, we have revised certain language in an effort to clarify many of the requirements. Each change is discussed in more detail.

   Through these final-form regulations, we have attempted to achieve a balance between the need for customer information and the development of competition in the retail natural gas industry. In doing so, we recognize that the varied forms of customer communications, such as billing, disclosure statements, customer choice of supplier, products and prices, customer relations, licensing requirements and distribution services, are interrelated and are important aspects of customer information disclosure requirements.

   It should also be noted that the Commission reserves the right to waive any or all requirements of these regulations upon petition by an affected party under § 5.43 (relating to petitions for issuance, amendment, waiver or repeal of regulations).

§ 62.72.  Definitions

   1.  Definition of Disclosure Statement

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CLS and IRRC state it is confusing to use the two different terms ''consumer contract'' and ''disclosure statement'' as if they are interchangeable throughout the final-form regulations. IRRC suggests that we use the term disclosure statement and define it in § 62.72.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree that it is better to settle on the use of a single term, disclosure statement, and that we should use that term consistently throughout these final-form regulations. We will delete the term consumer contract in § 62.72 and we will add the term disclosure statement and define it to indicate that it is a consumer contract.

   2.  Definition of Historical Billing Data

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The PGA recommends that we modify the definition of ''historical billing data'' to delete dollar amounts billed, and to change the term to 'historical usage data.'' The PGA questions the value to customers of the dollar amounts billed, an issue in § 62.76 (relating to request for information), and the sensitivity of small business customers to the release of data containing dollar amounts billed, an issue in § 62.78 (relating to privacy of customer information). The PGA makes a reference to electric industry data transfer (EDI) proceedings to support its position.

   b.  Resolution

   The PGA raises two separate issues. First, we are not convinced that the dollar amount billed has no value to the customer in § 62.76. A combination of usage data and the dollar amounts billed allows the customer to calculate a cost per unit of usage and the annual amount billed. In addition, the dollar amounts billed are likely to be more meaningful to a customer than the usage amounts and just as helpful when shopping for natural gas supply.

   Second, we believe that the PGA does not have a clear understanding of the privacy issue in § 62.78. The release of private information in these final-form regulations contain somewhat different private information than the private information contained in the enrollment process. In the enrollment process, the Commission gives the customer the ability to restrict the release of load data (usage data) to suppliers. However, once a customer chooses a supplier, the load data is automatically released to the supplier. The enrollment process does not address the release of data to third parties. That is where these final-form regulations come into play.

   We use the term historical billing data so that we can combine load data and dollar amounts billed into a single piece of private information and this is consistent with our regulations for the electric industry. We see no relevance to the EDI proceedings for the electric industry. Since customers may be sensitive about the release of usage data and billed data to third parties, we believe it is necessary to provide them with the ability to restrict the release of the information.

   3.  Definitions of NGDC, NGS, Natural Gas Distribution Service, Natural Gas Supply Services and Retail Gas Customer

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC and the PGA suggest that we should revise our definition for NGS to be consistent with the definition in the act and IRRC further suggests the same for the definitions of ''NGDC--natural gas distribution service,'' ''NGS--natural gas supply services'' and ''retail gas customer.''

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with IRRC and the PGA and we will revise the definitions to reflect the definitions in the act.

   4.  Definition of Nonbasic Services

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC asks that we consider including some examples of nonbasic services in the definition.

   b.  Resolution

   We will accommodate IRRC and we will add two examples of nonbasic services: gas line repair program and gas appliance warranty program.

§ 62.73.  Standards and pricing practices for retail natural gas service

   1.  Glossary of Gas Terms for the Consumer

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC and the PGA point out that the document that appears on the Commission's website is titled Glossary of Gas Terms for the Consumer and asks why it is not referenced in § 62.73(3) and (4).

   b.  Resolution

   We intend to change the name of the Glossary of Gas Terms for the Consumer to the Consumer's Dictionary for Natural Gas Competition. We will revise our website after these regulations become final. Since the Common Natural Gas Competition Terms document contains many of the same terms used in the Glossary (Dictionary), and is part of this regulation, we must wait for this regulations to become final before we can rename (from Glossary to Dictionary) and revise the Dictionary.

   2.  The Party Responsible for the Distribution of the Dictionary

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC states that it is unclear whether the phone number and address to be provided in § 62.73(3) are the NGDC's or the Commission's.

   b.  Resolution

   We will revise paragraph (3) to clearly indicate that it is the NGDC's phone number and address.

   3.  Inclusion of a Cross-Reference to the Act for Consumer Education Programs

   a.  Position of the Parties

   To improve the clarity of § 62.73(4), IRRC asks that we include a cross reference to section 2206(d) of the act, which mandates consumer education programs.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with IRRC and we will add the cross-reference to section 2206(d) of the act.

§ 62.74  Bill format for residential and small business customers

   1.  Definitions of Marketed Prices, Disclosure Statement Prices and Billed Prices

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC and the PGA ask what the difference is between marketed prices, the agreed upon prices in the disclosure statement and billed prices. IRRC suggests that we use a single term if all three terms have the same meaning or define them if each has a different meaning.

   b.  Resolution

   There are three types of customer information where an NGS discloses pricing to customers: marketing materials, the written disclosure statement and the customer bill. Typically, these disclosures are given to a customer in that order. We believe it is imperative that the prices reflected in each of these types of customer information be consistent with each other. When a customer responds to a marketing piece of customer information and accepts a price offer from an NGS, we expect the written disclosure statement to reflect the marketed price. We then expect the billed price to reflect both the marketed price and the agreed upon price in the written disclosure statement. If there is a difference in pricing among these three pieces of customer information, then there is reason to suspect fraudulent behavior on the part of the NGS.

   Finally, we agree with IRRC's suggestion to define the terms. Marketed prices are the disclosed prices on NGS marketing customer information. Disclosure statement prices are the disclosed NGS prices in the written disclosure statement. Billed prices are the disclosed NGS prices on the customer bill. We will revise §§ 62.72, 62.74(a), 62.75(a) and 62.77(a) accordingly.

   2.  Addition of Interstate Pipeline Transition Cost Surcharges as a Basic Charge

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The PGA recommends that we add ''interstate transition cost surcharges'' to the list of basic charges in § 62.74(b)(3) because it is a charge approved by FERC and currently is a line item appearing on many NGDC bills.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with the PGA and we will revise the regulation accordingly.

   3.  Inclusion of Meter Readings

   a.  Position of the Parties

   Spielvogel stated that meter readings should be included in this section.

   b.  Resolution

   We do not agree that this information should be added here and point out that beginning and ending meter readings are already required § 56.15(2) (relating to meter reading; estimated billing; ratepayer readings).

   4.  EGS Contract Expiration Dates on Bills

   a.  Position of the Parties

   Spielvogel contends that the supplier part of the bill format should include the month and year of the contract expiration. This would give customers ready access to this information without having to go back to the original contract.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with Spielvogel that contract expiration date reminders are useful but we disagree with placing that information on customer bills. Contract expiration dates apply only to customers that have a fixed term agreement with their NGS. It is important to note that not all customers have fixed term agreements. We believe that the contract expiration date is a written disclosure statement issue and not a billing issue. Also, we contend that it is better to keep billing and contract issues separate from both a cost effective and customer confusion standpoint. Finally, we point out that NGSs must provide two advance notices of contract expiration at about 90 and 60 days prior to the expiration date. We believe that we have provided adequate disclosure of the contract expiration date to customers.

   5.  Applicability of 52 Pa. Code § 56.15

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC and the CLS argue that we should delete the phrase ''to the extent they apply'' because there is no billing situation that is not subject to § 56.15.

   b.  Resolution

   While we agree that portions of § 56.15 apply to NGSs, we point out, as examples, that §§ 56.15 (5), (12) and (13) do not apply to NGSs. However, it appears that we have confused the parties with the language § 62.74(b)(5) and we realize that a clarification will be helpful. Thus, we will revise ''to the extent they apply'' to read as follows: ''to the extent that § 56.15 is applicable.''

   6.  PUC Authority to Approve Bills

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CAC opines that the Commission should have the authority to approve bill formats as part of the licensing process.

   b.  Resolution

   We appreciate the comment from CAC but we believe that the current system of requiring a billing entity to go through a Commission bill review prior to issuing bills to customers is a system that is working effectively. In some instances, a bill review is completed at the time of licensing. The timing of the bill review largely depends on when the billing entity develops billing capability.

   7.  Statewide Standard Pricing Unit

   a.  Position of the Parties

   While the CAC understands that it may not be practical to mandate a Statewide standard pricing unit in ccfs, Mcfs or Dekatherms, CAC is concerned about the potential confusion that this presents. For example, a customer may relocate from one NGDC territory to another and the NGDCs have different standard pricing units.

   b.  Resolution

   We maintain that the most effective standard pricing unit policy is to follow the current standard pricing unit of the NGDC. This requires no change from the current industry practice and customers will not need additional education. However, the CAC raises a valid concern where customer relocation involves a change in the standard pricing unit of its new NGDC. We currently rely on the education campaign of the new NGDC to include a discussion of its standard pricing unit. Our experience with the NGDCs' consumer education efforts has shown that they have adequately addressed this issue and the NGDCs do a good job of reeducating a customer that moves into their territory.

   8.  Price to Compare Bill Message or Bill Insert

   a.  Position of the Parties

   Given the frequent changes to the gas supply price, the OCA recommends that the NGDCs be required to send a price to compare letter to customers once per year. In addition, the NGDCs should include a bill message or bill insert whenever the NGDC's price to compare changes, regardless of the frequency of the change.

   b.  Resolution

   The requirement for the NGDC to send an annual price to compare letter is outside the scope of these regulations and it is addressed at Docket No. M-00991249F0009, Procedures Applicable to Natural Gas Distribution Companies and Natural Gas Suppliers During the Transition to Full Retail Choice, and at Docket No. M-001326, Creation and Implementation of a Statewide Consumer Education Program for Natural Gas Competition.

§ 62.75.  Disclosure statement for residential and small business customers

   1.  Toll-Free Telephone Numbers for NGDCs and NGSs

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CLS contends that the expense of toll calls from a customer to an NGS is a deterrent to the development of the free flow of information concerning the conditions of natural gas supply. The CLS recommends that the Commission require NGSs to offer toll-free phone access. The IRRC asks if we have considered requiring toll-free numbers as CLS suggests.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree that toll-free access to NGSs has a positive effect on customer participation in the gas market. We have not mandated toll-free access because NGSs are routinely offering toll-free access to customers. NGSs realize the benefits of providing toll-free access and competitive pressures have resulted in the widespread use of toll-free numbers.

   2.  Ceiling Price in the Variable Pricing Option

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The PGA argues that in order to accommodate the possibility that there may not be a ceiling price in a variable pricing statement, we should add ''as applicable'' to the end of the text.

   b.  Resolution

   The PGA points out that the requirement to disclose a ceiling price in a variable pricing offer may not be necessary. We agree with the PGA, however, we recognize that we must then expand the conditions of variability requirement to include disclosure of the prescribed method of variability. Therefore, the NGS must clearly disclose its prescribed methodology for price variability. This clarification will eliminate the potential for vague language in the conditions of variability requirement. This clarification will enable the customer to make a more informed decision when accepting a variable pricing offer.

   3.  Inclusion of Right of Rescission in the Contract

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CLS suggests that consumer contracts should include a description of the 3-business days right of rescission.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with CLS and we include the language in § 62.75(d)(1).

   4.  Clarification of the Use of the Term ''Written Disclosure'' at § 62.75(d)(2)

   a.  Position of the Parties

   CLS recommends that we clarify that ''written disclosure,'' in § 62.75(d)(2), refers to the ''written disclosure statement.'' This is important because the receipt of the written disclosure statement triggers the 3 day right of rescission.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with CLS and we will add the word ''statement'' after ''disclosure'' to eliminate the potential for customer confusion.

   5.  Bundled Pricing

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CAC argues that bundled prices encompassing many different services deprives the consumer of the pricing information they need about individual services necessary to make informed decisions.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with the CAC and clarify that we already require that each basic and nonbasic service must be separately disclosed.

   6.  Contract Status when a Customer Moves

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CAC asks that we make it clear that the contract is automatically voided when a customer moves.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with CAC and we will revise the regulations by adding the following language in § 62.75 (c)(7), ''When a customer moves from one location to another, even if the move is within an NGDC's service territory, the agreement is cancelled.''

   7.  Cessation of Service

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The OCA recommends that the Commission clearly state that a cessation of service to the customer, either at the expiration of the fixed term agreement or during the fixed term agreement, requires the 90-day and 60-day notices.

   b.  Resolution

   The issue of cessation of service is addressed by the Commission at Docket No. M-00001343, Interim Guidelines regarding Notification by a Natural Gas Supplier of Operational Changes Affecting Customer Service and Contracts. Thus, § 62.75(g) does not apply to cessation of service by an EGS.

   8.  Expiration Notices

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CNGR points out that the 90-day and 60-day notice requirements for contract expiration only makes sense for agreements with a term greater than 3 months. If we agree with the CNGR, IRRC asks us to clarify if renewal notices apply to the short-term agreements that are less than 4 months in duration.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with the CNGR and will add language to the effect that this applies to contracts with a term greater than 3 months in length in the appropriate place in § 62.75(g)(1). We have not seen any agreements for less than 4 months proposed by suppliers. However, if a supplier had an agreement for less than 4 months, then these regulations would not apply. We do not feel the short term agreements warrant advance customer notices. We would carefully review such agreements and we would pay particular attention to any renewal and cancellation provisions.

   9.  Clarification of the Meaning of the Term ''Affirmatively Reselects''

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC asks that we offer a clarification of what the term ''affirmatively reselects'' means in § 62.75(g)(2).

   b.  Resolution

   Simply defined, the term ''affirmatively reselects'' means that the customer accepts the new offer of the NGS verbally, in writing or electronically. There are a number of ways for the customer to convey the acceptance of the new NGS offer that constitute an affirmative reselection. The following are examples of an affirmative reselection: The customer initiates a telephone call to the NGS and during the conversation the customer accepts the new offer, the NGS initiates a telephone call to the customer and during the conversation the customer accepts the new offer, the customer accepts the new offer by signing a document and returning it to the NGS, or the customer acknowledges the acceptance of the new offer electronically, perhaps by checking a box on a form on the NGS' web site.

   We will add these expamples to the regulation in the interest of clarity.

   10.  Conversion from a Long Term to a Month-to-Month Agreement

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC questions what occurs if an NGS wants to convert a long-term agreement to a month-to-month contract. IRRC also asks if the customer has to positively reselect this option or will the conversion occur if there is no action on the part of the customer. IRRC recommends that we address this type of conversion in the regulations.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with IRRC that we have not adequately addressed the continuation of a fixed term agreement to a month-to-month agreement when the customer does not respond to the notice. We will add the following language to § 62.75(g)(2). ''A fixed term agreement may be converted to a month-to-month agreement, either at the same terms and conditions or at revised terms and conditions, as long as the agreement converts from a fixed term to a month-to-month agreement and contains no cancellation penalties, in the event that the customer does not respond to the notice. A fixed term agreement may be converted to another fixed term agreement as long as the new agreement includes a customer initiated cancellation provision that allows the customer to cancel at any time for any reason and contains no cancellation penalties, in the event that the customer does not respond to the notice.''

§ 62.76.  Request for information

   1.  Customer Requests for Energy Efficiency Information

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The PGA assumes that there is no gas counterpart to the ''green power'' disclosure in the electric industry and recommends that we eliminate the requirement for NGDCs to provide efficiency information to customers upon request. IRRC asks that we choose between the use of ''efficiency information'' and ''information on energy efficiency'' and provide a definition for the term we choose.

   b.  Resolution

   We disagree with the PGA because the NGDCs' consumer education programs already provide customers with efficiency information upon request and we expect the NGDCs to simply continue current practices. We agree with IRRC and we will use the term ''efficiency information'' and define it as the existing NGDC efficiency information included in the NGDC's consumer education program.

§ 62.77.  Marketing/sales activities

   1.  Fixed and Tiered Pricing

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CNGR suggests that we substitute the word ''tiered'' for the word ''fixed'' in § 62.77(b)(1) because there would be no need to require the NGS to illustrate fixed price charges at various usage levels since the price per unit will not change based on usage. IRRC asks us to clarify if this section applies to tiered pricing.

   b.  Resolution

   The usage levels for the marketing table were determined by reviewing typical historical usage levels for both heating and nonheating customers of the NGDCs. The steps in usage levels are meant to allow a customer to find a close comparison to his individual usage level and corresponding price per standard pricing unit of the NGDC so that he can make an informed decision about the offer from the NGS. While we recognize that the table will show the same results under the common fixed price variation of fixed pricing, we believe that the intended benefit to the customer is significant enough to keep the requirement. In addition, since the tiered pricing variation is a fixed pricing variation, we do not need to restrict the applicability of this section to just the tiered pricing variation.

   2.  Cost of Marketing Table

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The PGA contends that the required marketing table is potentially costly to NGSs.

   b.  Resolution

   We do not believe that the costs are burdensome to NGSs because our experience with the electric market did not result in any supplier complaints about the cost of the table. Also, the table provides useful information to customers for comparison purposes.

   3.  Explanation of When the Marketing Table is Required

   a.  Position of the Parities

   IRRC asks that we clarify when the NGS is required to issue the marketing table as required in § 62.77(b)(1) and (2), either in all marketing materials or just those marketing materials that include a written disclosure statement.

   b.  Resolution

   We clarify that the table is required only when the marketing materials contain a written disclosure statement and we will revise § 62.77(b) accordingly.

   4.  Ceiling Price in a Variable Pricing option

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The PGA questions the relevance of showing an average price for a variable pricing option in the marketing table and IRRC asks that we be consistent in our requirements in §§ 62.75(c)(2)(i) and 62.77(b)(2).

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with the PGA and IRRC and we believe that when we change § 62.77(b)(2) to be consistent with the change we previously agreed to make in § 62.75(c)(2)(ii), the issues that these parties raise will be resolved. Specifically, we will add that the marketing table should be done for both the starting price and the ceiling price, if the ceiling price is applicable. This will eliminate the need for the disclosure of an average price. We will revise § 62.77(b)(2) accordingly.

   5.  Use of Equivalent Measures or Standard Pricing Unit of the NGDC

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC and the OCA contend that the marketing table that is required in § 62.77(b) should contain NGS prices according to the standard pricing unit of the NGDC and that we should modify this section accordingly.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with the OCA and IRRC and we will modify the regulations to require that the marketing tables show prices in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC.

   6.  Time Frame Applicable to the Marketing Table

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRRC asks if the marketing table in § 62.77(b)(2) reflects pricing for 1 month or several months. IRRC also asks if the price is for a particular date, as a limited time offer.

   b.  Resolution

   The marketing table at both § 62.77(b)(1) and (2) reflect the price for 1 month and we will revise these two sections accordingly. If the marketing table reflects pricing as a limited time offer, then the table should contain such a footnote. We will revise these sections to require a statement about a limited time offer, if applicable.

§ 62.78.  Privacy of customer information

   1.  Use of the Term ''Convenient Method''

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The IRRC recommends that we should amend subsection (a) to specify that the customer must be given the option of restricting the release of private information consistent with subsection (b), which contains a list of the acceptable convenient methods.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with IRRC and we will revise subsection (a) consistent with IRRC's recommendation.

§ 62.79.  Complaint handling process

   1.  Toll-Free Phone Numbers

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CLS requests that all NGDCs and NGSs provide toll-free numbers for all customers for whom telephone contact is a toll call. IRRC asks if we have considered the requirement.

   b.  Resolution

   We have not required the use of toll-free numbers because all NGDCs and NGS appear to already be providing toll-free numbers to customers. The use of toll-free numbers is perceived as a good business practice in a competitive environment and competition has made the use of toll-free numbers commonplace.

   2.  Use of the Term ''Applicable Standards''

   a.  Position of the Parties

   The CLS contends that the use of the term ''applicable standards'' in § 62.79(2) creates uncertainty that Chapter 56, Subchapter F (relating to disputes; termination disputes; informal and formal complaints) might not apply to an NGS or an NGDC.

   b.  Resolution

   We agree with the CLS that Chapter 56, Subchapter F applies to NGSs and NGDCs and we will revise this section accordingly.

§ 62.80.  Common natural gas competition terms

   1.  Definition of PUC

   a.  Position of Parties

   The CLS asks that we modify the definition of ''PUC--Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission'' to include a phrase about the regulation of distribution rates.

   b.  Resolution

   We respectfully decline to change our current definition of ''PUC--Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission'' because we believe it is as simple as possible while covering the most important aspects of the PUC as a regulatory agency. We also note that all bills and written disclosurestatements for residential and small business customers will contain a sentence which says that distribution prices and charges are set by the PUC.

   2.  Differences between Common Natural Gas Competition Terms and the Glossary of Gas Terms for the Consumer

   a.  Position of the Parties

   IRCC and the PGA point out that there are discrepancies in the definitions of 14 terms contained in the two Commission reference documents known as the Common Natural Gas Competition Terms and the Glossary of Gas Terms for the Consumer. The PGA asks us to eliminate these differences.

   b.  Resolution

   We will change the name of the Glossary of Gas Terms for the Consumer to the Consumer's Dictionary for Natural Gas Competition consistent with § 62.73(3). Additionally, we shall conform the definitions in the Consumer's Dictionary to those appearing in § 62.80.

   Accordingly, under sections 501, 1301, 1307 and 1501 of the code, and the Commonwealth Documents Law (45 P. S. § 1201 et seq.), and the regulations promulgated thereunder in 1 Pa. Code §§ 7.1--7.4, we propose to amend our regulations by adding §§ 62.71--62.80, to read as set forth in Annex A; therefore,

   It Is Ordered that:

   1.  The Secretary shall submit this order and Annex A for review by the designated standing committees of the General Assembly, and for review by IRRC.

   2.  The Secretary shall submit this order and Annex A to the Office of the Attorney General for review as to form and legality.

   3.  The Secretary shall submit a copy of this order and Annex A to the Governor's Budget Office for review of fiscal impact.

   4.  The Secretary shall certify this order and Annex A and deposit them with the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. This chapter shall become effective upon final publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

   5.  The contact persons are Ahmed Kaloko, Director, Bureau of Conservation, Economics and Energy Planning (technical), (717) 787-2139, and Lawrence F. Barth (legal), (717) 772-8579. Alternate formats of this document are available to persons with disabilities and may be obtained by contacting Sherri DelBiondo, Regulatory Coordinator, Law Bureau, and (717) 772-4597.

   6.  A copy of this order and Annex A shall be served upon persons who filed comments, natural gas distribution companies subject to the act, licensed NGSs, the OTS and the Office of the Small Business Advocate.


   (Editor's Note:  For the text of the order of the Independant Regulatory Review Commission, relating to this document, see 31 Pa.B. 1647 (March 24, 2001).)

   Fiscal Note: Fiscal Note 57-215 remains valid for the final adoption of the subject regulations.

[Continued on next Web Page]

No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.

This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Bulletin full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.