PUBLIC UTILITY COMPANY DISPUTE PROCEDURES
§ 56.151. General rule.
Upon initiation of a dispute covered by this section, the public utility shall:
(1) Not issue a termination notice based on the disputed subject matter.
(2) Investigate the matter using methods reasonable under the circumstances, which may include telephone or personal conferences, or both, with the customer or occupant.
(3) Make a diligent attempt to negotiate a reasonable payment arrangement if the customer or occupant is eligible for a payment arrangement and claims a temporary inability to pay an undisputed bill. Factors which shall be considered in the negotiation of a payment arrangement include, but are not limited to:
(i) The size of the unpaid balance.
(ii) The ability of the customer to pay.
(iii) The payment history of the customer.
(iv) The length of time over which the bill accumulated.
(4) Provide the customer or occupant with the information necessary for an informed judgment, including, but not limited to, relevant portions of tariffs, statements of account and results of meter tests.
(5) Within 30 days of the initiation of the dispute, issue its report to the complaining party. The public utility shall inform the complaining party that the report is available upon request.
(i) If the complainant is not satisfied with the dispute resolution, the public utility company report must be in writing and conform to § 56.152 (relating to contents of the public utility company report). Further, in these instances, the written report shall be sent to the complaining party if requested or if the public utility deems it necessary.
(ii) If the complaining party is satisfied with the orally conveyed dispute resolution, the written public utility company report may be limited to the information in § 56.152(1), (2) and, when applicable, § 56.152(7)(ii) or (8)(ii).
(iii) The information and documents required under this subsection may be electronically provided to the complaining party as long as the complaining party has the ability to accept electronic documents and consents to receiving them electronically.
The provisions of this § 56.151 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § § 331, 501, 504506, 1301, 1305, 14011419, 1501, 1504 and 1509.
The provisions of this § 56.151 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; amended April 8, 1983, effective April 9, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 1250; amended July 17, 1998, effective August 17, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 3379; amended October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473; amended May 31, 2019, effective June 1, 2019, 49 Pa.B. 2815. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (367184) to (367185).
This section cited in 52 Pa. Code § 54.153 (relating to reporting requirements); 52 Pa. Code § 56.114 (relating to length of postponement; renewals); 52 Pa. Code § 56.141 (relating to dispute procedures); 52 Pa. Code § 57.177 (relating to customer dispute procedures); 52 Pa. Code § 59.97 (relating to customer dispute procedures); 52 Pa. Code § 62.33 (relating to reporting requirements); 52 Pa. Code § 62.224 (relating to POR programs); 52 Pa. Code § 69.265 (relating to CAP design elements); and 52 Pa. Code § 111.13 (relating to customer complaints).
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