Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 6892 (October 30, 2021).

Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter B. BILLING AND PAYMENT STANDARDS


BILLING

Sec.


56.11.    Billing frequency.
56.12.    Meter reading; estimated billing; customer readings.
56.13.    Billings for merchandise, appliances and nonrecurring and recurring services.
56.14.    Previously unbilled public utility service.
56.15.    Billing information.
56.16.    Transfer of accounts.
56.17.    Advance payments.

PAYMENTS


56.21.    Payment.
56.22.    Accrual of late payment charges.
56.23.    Application of partial payments between public utility and other service.
56.24.    Application of partial payments among several bills for public utility service.
56.25.    Electronic bill payment.

Cross References

   This subchapter cited in 52 Pa. Code §  56.1 (relating to statement of purpose and policy).

BILLING


§ 56.11. Billing frequency.

 (a)  A public utility shall render a bill once every billing period to every residential customer in accordance with approved rate schedules.

 (b)  A public utility may utilize electronic billing in lieu of mailed paper bills. Electronic billing programs must include the following requirements:

   (1)  The electronic billing option is voluntary and only with the prior consent of the customer. The customer retains the right to revert to conventional paper billings upon request. The customer shall provide the public utility with a one billing cycle notice of a request to revert to paper billing.

   (2)  A customer shall receive the same information that is included with a paper bill issued by the public utility.

   (3)  The electronic bill must include the same disclosures and educational messages that are required for paper bills. The electronic transmission of termination notices may not be permitted unless the customer has affirmatively consented to this method of delivery. The electronic delivery of a termination notice does not relieve the public utility of the obligation to provide termination notices as required under § §  56.91—56.98.

   (4)  The electronic bill must include required bill inserts in an easily accessed and easily readable format.

   (5)  The electronic bill must include the option for the customer to contribute to the public utility’s hardship fund if the public utility is able to accept hardship fund contributions by this method.

   (6)  A customer may not be required to pay an additional fee to receive an electronic bill.

   (7)  The public utility shall maintain a system to deliver electronic bills if the bill is emailed to a customer.

   (8)  The public utility shall employ all reasonable measures to protect customer information from unauthorized disclosure and to prevent access to customer account records by persons who are not properly authorized to have access.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.11 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 1301, 1401—1419, 1501 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.11 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; 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 (358945) to (358946).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  54.153 (relating to reporting requirements); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.33 (relating to reporting requirements).

§ 56.12. Meter reading; estimated billing; customer readings.

 Except as provided in this section, a public utility shall render bills based on actual meter readings by public utility company personnel.

   (1)  Inapplicability to seasonally billed customers. This section does not apply to customers billed on a seasonal basis under terms included in the tariff of the public utility.

   (2)  Estimates for bills rendered on a monthly basis. If a public utility bills on a monthly basis, it may estimate usage of service every other billing month, so long as the public utility provides a customer with the opportunity to read the meter and report the quantity of usage in lieu of the estimated bill. The resulting bills must be based on the information provided, except for an account when it is apparent that the information is erroneous.

     (i)   Upon the request of the customer, the public utility shall, at least annually, provide preaddressed postcards on which the customer may report the reading. The public utility shall provide additional preaddressed postcards on request. The public utility may choose to make available electronic and telephonic methods for customers to report meter reading information.

     (ii)   The public utility may establish due dates by which the customer supplied reading shall be received for a bill to be based upon the meter reading of the customer or occupant. If the reading of a customer or occupant is not received by that due date, the public utility may estimate the quantity of usage. The public utility may establish due dates for submitting a meter reading when the customer or occupant utilizes an electronic method for reporting meter readings.

   (3)  Estimates permitted under exigent circumstances. A public utility may estimate the bill of a customer if extreme weather conditions, emergencies, equipment failure, work stoppages or other circumstances prevent actual meter reading.

   (4)  Estimates when public utility personnel are unable to gain access. A public utility may estimate the bill of a customer if public utility personnel are unable to gain access to obtain an actual meter reading, as long as the following apply:

     (i)   The public utility has undertaken reasonable alternative measures to obtain a meter reading, including, but not limited to, the provision of preaddressed postcards upon which the customer may report the reading or the telephone reporting of the reading.

     (ii)   The public utility, at least every 6 months, or every four billing periods for public utilities permitted to bill for periods in excess of 1 month, obtains an actual meter reading or customer supplied reading to verify the accuracy of the estimated readings.

     (iii)   The public utility, at least once every 12 months, obtains an actual meter reading to verify the accuracy of the readings, either estimated or customer read.

   (5)  Remote reading devices for water, gas and electric public utilities. A public utility may render a bill on the basis of readings from a remote reading device under the following conditions:

     (i)   When a gas, electric or water public utility uses readings from a remote reading device to render bills, the public utility shall obtain an actual meter reading at least once every 5 years to verify the accuracy of the remote reading device. If the customer of record at the dwelling changes during the 5-year period between actual meter readings, the public utility shall make a bona fide attempt to schedule an appointment with the departing customer and, if necessary, the new occupant, to secure an actual meter reading.

     (ii)   When the actual meter reading establishes that the customer was underbilled due to an error in the registration of the remote reading device, the public utility may render a bill for the uncollected amount. If the rebilling exceeds the otherwise normal estimated bill for the billing period during which the bill is issued by at least 50% or at least $50, the public utility shall comply with §  56.14 (relating to previously unbilled public utility service).

     (iii)   When the actual meter reading establishes that the customer was overbilled due to an error in the readings of the remote reading device, the public utility shall credit or refund to the customer the amount overbilled plus interest calculated under §  56.181(3) (relating to duties of parties; disputing party’s duty to pay undisputed portion of bills; public utility’s duty to pay interest whenever overpayment found).

     (iv)   Nothing in this section may be construed to limit the authority of electric, gas or water utilities to gain access to a residence for the purpose of checking or reading a meter.

   (6)  Verification of automatic meter reading. Upon a customer request, the public utility shall secure an in-person meter reading to confirm the accuracy of an automatic meter reading device when a customer disconnects service or a new service request is received. A public utility may charge a fee, as provided in a Commission-approved tariff.

   (7)  Limitation of liability. If a water public utility has estimated bills and if the customer or occupant during that period has consumed an amount of water in excess of normal seasonal usage because of a verified leak that could not reasonably have been detected or other unknown loss of water, the customer is not liable for more than 150% of the average amount of water consumed for the corresponding period during the previous year. This section does not apply when the water public utility was unable to gain access and has complied with paragraph (4).

   (8)  Budget billing. A gas, electric and steam heating public utility shall provide its residential customers, on a year-round rolling enrollment basis, with an optional billing procedure which averages estimated public utility service costs over a 10-month, 11-month or 12-month period to eliminate, to the extent possible, seasonal fluctuations in public utility bills. The public utility shall review accounts at least three times during the optional billing period. At the conclusion of the budget billing year, a resulting reconciliation amount exceeding $100 but less than $300 shall be, at the request of the customer, amortized over a 6-month period. Reconciliation amounts exceeding $300 shall be amortized over at least a 12-month period at the request of the customer. Shorter amortization periods are permissible at the request of the customer.

   (9)  Notice. The public utility shall inform existing customers of their rights under this section and 66 Pa.C.S. §  1509 (relating to billing procedures).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.12 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 504—506, 1301, 1401—1419, 1501 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.12 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 February 28, 1986, effective March 1, 1986, 16 Pa.B. 597; 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 (358946) to (358948).

Notes of Decisions

   Service

   Failure by a condominium to pay sales taxes for electricity and steam is not one of the enumerated reasons to permit a utility company to terminate service. Philadelphia Electric Company v. Department of Revenue, 538 A.2d 607 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988).

   Sales Tax

   By requiring public utilities to prepay sales taxes for its nonresidential customers and then write off as a bad debt any such taxes it cannot collect from the customer, the Legislature did not violate equal protection. Philadelphia Electric Company v. Department of Revenue, 538 A.2d 607 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  54.153 (relating to reporting requirements); 52 Pa. Code §  56.97 (relating to procedures upon customer or occupant contact prior to termination); 52 Pa. Code §  56.116 (relating to duty of customer to pay bills); 52 Pa. Code §  56.191 (relating to payment and timing); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.33 (relating to reporting requirements).

§ 56.13. Billings for merchandise, appliances and nonrecurring and recurring services.

 Charges for other than basic service—that is, merchandise, appliances and special services, including merchandise and appliance installation, sales, rental and repair costs; meter testing fees; line extension costs; special construction charges and other nonrecurring charges, except as provided in this chapter—must appear after charges for basic services and appear distinctly separate. This includes charges for optional recurring services which are distinctly separate and clearly not required for the physical delivery of service. Examples include line repair programs and appliance warranty programs. See §  56.83(3) (relating to unauthorized termination of service).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.13 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S § §  1401—1419.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.13 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; corrected September 21, 1990, effective October 15, 1988, 20 Pa.B. 4864; amended October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (271615).

§ 56.14. Previously unbilled public utility service.

 

   When a public utility renders a make-up bill for previously unbilled public utility service which accrued within the past 4 years resulting from public utility billing error, meter failure, leakage that could not reasonably have been detected or loss of service, or four or more consecutive estimated bills and the make-up bill exceeds the otherwise normal estimated bill for the billing period during which the make-up bill is issued by at least 50% or at least $50, whichever is greater:

   (1)  The public utility shall explain the bill to the customer and make a reasonable attempt to amortize the bill.

   (2)  The period of the amortization may, at the option of the customer, extend at least as long as:

     (i)   The period during which the excess amount accrued.

     (ii)   Necessary so that the quantity of service billed in any one billing period is not greater than the normal estimated quantity for that period plus 50%.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.14 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504, 1301, 1305, 1401—1419, 1501 and 1504.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.14 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. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (271615) to (271616).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  56.12 (relating to meter reading; estimated billing; customer readings); 52 Pa. Code §  56.41 (relating to general rule); 52 Pa. Code §  56.83 (relating to unauthorized termination of service); and 52 Pa. Code §  56.191 (relating to payment and timing).

§ 56.15. Billing information.

 A bill rendered by a public utility for metered residential public utility service must state clearly the following information:

   (1)  The beginning and ending dates of the billing period.

   (2)  If applicable, the beginning and ending meter readings for the billing period. If a bill is estimated, it shall contain a clear and conspicuous marking of the word ‘‘Estimated.’’

   (3)  The due date on or before which payment shall be made or the account will be delinquent.

   (4)  The amount due for service rendered during the current billing period, specifying the charge for basic service, the energy or fuel adjustment charge, State tax adjustment surcharge if other than zero, State sales tax if applicable and other similar charges. The bills should also indicate that a State gross receipts tax is being charged and a reasonable estimate of the charge. A Class A utility shall include a statement of the dollar amount of total State taxes included in the current billing period charge. For the purpose of this paragraph, a Class A utility shall also include a Class A telephone utility as defined under §  63.31 (relating to classification of public utilities).

   (5)  Amounts due for reconnection charges.

   (6)  Amounts due for security deposits.

   (7)  The total amount of payments and other credits made to the account during the current billing period.

   (8)  The amount of late payment charges, designated as such, which have accrued to the account of the customer for failure to pay bills by the due date of the bill and which are authorized under §  56.22 (relating to accrual of late payment charges).

   (9)  The total amount due.

   (10)  A clear and conspicuous marking of estimates.

   (11)  A statement directing the customer to ‘‘register any question or complaint about the bill prior to the due date,’’ with the address and telephone number where the customer may initiate the inquiry or complaint with the public utility.

   (12)  A statement that a rate schedule, an explanation of how to verify the accuracy of a bill and an explanation, in plain language of the various charges, if applicable, is available for inspection in the local business office of the public utility and on the public utility’s web site.

   (13)  A designation of the applicable rate schedule as denoted in the officially filed tariff of the public utility.

   (14)  Electric distribution utilities and natural gas distribution utilities shall incorporate the requirements in § §  54.4 and 62.74 (relating to bill format for residential and small business customers).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.15 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 1301, 1302, 1401—1419, 1504 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.15 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; amended January 8, 1988, effective January 9, 1988, 18 Pa.B. 185; amended October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (271616) and (276015).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  54.2 (relating to definitions); 52 Pa. Code §  54.4 (relating to bill format for residential and small business customers); 52 Pa. Code §  62.72 (relating to definitions); 52 Pa. Code §  62.74 (relating to bill format for residential and small business customers); and 52 Pa. Code §  69.251 (relating to plain language—statement of policy).

§ 56.16. Transfer of accounts.

 (a)  A customer who is about to vacate premises supplied with public utility service or who wishes to have service discontinued shall give at least 7 days notice to the public utility and a noncustomer occupant, specifying the date on which it is desired that service be discontinued. In the absence of a notice, the customer shall be responsible for services rendered. After a reasonable attempt to obtain meter access, if the public utility is not able to access the meter for discontinuance, service shall be discontinued with an estimated meter reading upon which the final bill will be based. The resulting final bill is subject to adjustment once the public utility has obtained an actual meter reading.

 (b)  In the event of discontinuance or termination of service at a residence or dwelling in accordance with this chapter, a public utility may transfer an unpaid balance to a new residential service account of the same customer.

 (c)  If a termination notice has been issued in accordance with §  56.91 (relating to general notice provisions and contents of termination notice) and subsequent to the mailing or delivery of that notice, the customer requests a transfer of service to a new location, the termination process in § §  56.91—56.99 may continue at the new location.

   (1)  When notifications set forth under §  56.91 and §  56.95 (relating to deferred termination when no prior contact) have been rendered and service has not been terminated due to a denial of access to the premises, the public utility may deny service at a new location when a service transfer is requested.

   (2)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the right of a customer to dispute a bill within the meaning of § §  56.141—56.143 (relating to dispute procedures; time for filing an informal complaint; and effect of failure to timely file an informal complaint).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.16 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504, 1301, 1305, 1401—1419, 1501 and 1504.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.16 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 October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (276015) to (276016).

§ 56.17. Advance payments.

 Payments may be required in advance of furnishing any of the following services:

   (1)  Seasonal service.

   (2)  The construction of facilities and furnishing of special equipment.

   (3)  Gas and electric rendered through prepayment meters provided:

     (i)   The customer is nonlow income. For purposes of this section, ‘‘nonlow income’’ is defined as an individual who has an annual household gross income greater than 150% of the Federal poverty income guidelines and has a delinquency for which the individual is requesting a payment arrangement but offering terms that the public utility, after consideration of the factors in §  56.97(b) (relating to procedures upon customer or occupant contact prior to termination), finds unacceptable.

     (ii)   The service is being rendered to an individually-metered residential dwelling, and the customer and occupants are the only individuals affected by the installation of a prepayment meter.

     (iii)   The customer and public utility enter into a payment arrangement which includes, but is not limited to, the following terms:

       (A)   The customer voluntarily agrees to the installation of a prepayment meter.

       (B)   The customer agrees to purchase prepayment credits to maintain service until the total balance is retired and the public utility agrees to make new credits available to the customer within 5 days of receipt of prepayment.

       (C)   The public utility agrees to furnish the customer with emergency backup credits for additional usage of at least 5 days.

       (D)   The customer agrees that failure to renew the credits by making prepayment for additional service constitutes a request for discontinuance under §  56.72(1) (relating to discontinuance of service), except during a medical emergency, and that discontinuance will occur when the additional usage on the emergency backup credits runs out.

     (iv)   The public utility develops a written plan for a prepayment meter program, consistent with the criteria established in this section, and submits the plan to the Commission at least 30 days in advance of the effective date of the program.

     (v)   During the first 2 years of use of prepayment meters, the public utility thoroughly and objectively evaluates the use of prepayment meters in accordance with the following:

       (A)   Content. The evaluation should include both process and impact components. Process evaluation should focus on whether the use of prepayment meters conforms to the program design and should assess the degree to which the program operates efficiently. The impact evaluation should focus on the degree to which the program achieves the continuation of public utility service to participants at reasonable cost levels. The evaluation should include an analysis of the costs and benefits of traditional collections or alternative collections versus the costs and benefits of handling nonlow income positive ability to pay customers through prepayment metering. This analysis should include comparisons of customer payment behavior, energy consumption, administrative costs and actual collection costs.

       (B)   Time frame. The process evaluation should be undertaken during the middle of the first year; the impact evaluation at least by the end of the second year.

   (4)  Temporary service for short-term use, including installation and removal, with credit for reasonable salvage.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.17 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504, 1301, 1304, 1401—1419, 1501, 1504, 1509 and 2911.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.17 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 January 13, 1995, effective April 14, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 145; 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 (358952) to (358953).

PAYMENTS


§ 56.21. Payment.

 The due date for payment of a bill may not be less than 20 days from the date of transmittal; that is, the date of mailing, electronic transmission or physical delivery of the bill by the public utility to the customer.

   (1)  Extension of due date to next business day. If the last day for payment falls on a Saturday, Sunday, bank holiday or other day when the offices of the public utility which regularly receive payments are not open to the general public, the due date shall be extended to the next business day.

   (2)  Date of payment by mail. For a remittance by mail, one or more of the following applies:

     (i)   Payment shall be deemed to have been made on the date of the postmark.

     (ii)   The public utility may not impose a late payment charge unless payment is received more than 5 days after the due date.

   (3)  Branch offices or authorized payment agents. The effective date of payment to a branch office or authorized payment agent, unless payment is made by mail under paragraph (2), is the date of actual receipt of payment at that location.

   (4)  Electronic transmission. The effective date of a payment electronically transmitted to a public utility is the date of actual receipt of payment.

   (5)  Fees. Fees or charges assessed and collected by the public utility for utilizing a payment option must be included in the public utility’s tariff on file at the Commission.

   (6)  Multiple notifications. When a public utility advises a customer of a balance owed by multiple notices or contacts which contain different due dates, the date on or before which payment is due shall be the latest due date contained in any of the notices.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.21 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504, 1301, 1305, 1401—1419, 1501, 1504 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.21 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; amended April 8, 1983, effective April 9, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 1250; corrected March 27, 1992, effective June 30, 1990, 22 Pa.B. 1426; 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 (358953) to (358954).

Notes of Decisions

   Equal Protection

   By requiring public utilities to prepay sales taxes for its nonresidential customers and then write off as a bad debt any such taxes it cannot collect from the customer, the Legislature did not violate equal protection. Philadelphia Electric Company v. Department of Revenue, 538 A.2d 607 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  56.22 (relating to accrual of late payment charges).

§ 56.22. Accrual of late payment charges.

 (a)  Every public utility subject to this chapter is prohibited from levying or assessing a late charge or penalty on any overdue public utility bill, as defined in §  56.21 (relating to payment), in an amount which exceeds 1.5% interest per month on the overdue balance of the bill. These charges are to be calculated on the overdue portions of the bill only. The interest rate, when annualized, may not exceed 18% simple interest per annum.

 (b)  An additional charge or fixed fee designed to recover the cost of a subsequent rebilling may not be charged by a regulated public utility.

 (c)  Late payment charges may not be imposed on disputed estimated bills, unless the estimated bill was required because public utility personnel were willfully denied access to the affected premises to obtain an actual meter reading.

 (d)  A public utility may waive late payment charges on any customer accounts. The Commission may only order a waiver of late payment charges levied by a public utility as a result of a delinquent account for customers with a gross monthly household income not exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level. See 66 Pa.C.S. §  1409 (relating to late payment charge waiver).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.22 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504, 1301, 1305, 1401—1419, 1501 and 1504.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.22 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 October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (337342) to (337343).

Notes of Decisions

   Conflict with Statute

   Since 42 Pa.C.S. §  8101 (relating to interest on judgments) limits postjudgment interest to 6% per year unless otherwise provided by another statute, it supersedes the regulation that provides for 18% interest per year on amounts owed to a public utility. Equitable Gas Co. v. Wade, 812 A.2d 715 (Pa. Super. 2002).

   Late Payment Charges

   In its monthly billing statements, the utility clearly instructed its customers to pay either the account balance or the optional payment amount by a certain date to avoid a specified late payment charge calculated at a certain monthly percentage rate, and thus the billing statements contained all of the information required by the regulations and the tariff approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission; moreover, the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission had approved the specific language used in the monthly billing statements under the detailed ‘‘plain language’’ guidelines set forth in 52 Pa. Code §  69.251. Aronson v. Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, 740 A.2d 1208 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999); appeal denied 751 A.2d 193 (Pa. 2000).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  56.15 (relating to billing information); and 52 Pa. Code §  56.181 (relating to duties of parties; disputing party’s duty to pay undisputed portion of bills; public utility’s duty to pay interest whenever overpayment found).

§ 56.23. Application of partial payments between public utility and other service.

 Payments received by a public utility without written instructions that they be applied to merchandise, appliances, special services, meter testing fees or other nonbasic charges and which are insufficient to pay the balance due for the items plus amounts billed for basic public utility service shall first be applied to the basic charges for residential public utility service.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.23 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504, 1301, 1305, 1401—1419, 1501, 1504 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.23 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 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 (358955) to (358956).

§ 56.24. Application of partial payments among several bills for public utility service.

 In the absence of written instructions, a disputed bill or a payment arrangement, payments received by a public utility which are insufficient to pay a balance due both for prior service and for service billed during the current billing period shall first be applied to the balance due for prior service.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.24 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  501, 1301, 1401—1419, 1501 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.24 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; 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 page (358956).

§ 56.25. Electronic bill payment.

 A public utility may offer electronic payment options. Electronic payment programs must include the following requirements:

   (1)  Electronic bill payment shall be voluntary. A public utility may not require a customer to enroll in electronic bill payment as a condition for enrolling in electronic billing.

   (2)  For electronic bill payment through a charge to a customer’s credit card or automatic withdrawal from a customer’s financial account, the program must set forth the date (or number of days after issuance of the bill) when the automatic payment shall be made.

   (3)  The terms of the payment procedures shall be fully disclosed to the customer in writing, either by mail or electronically, before the customer enters the program. Program changes shall be conveyed to the customer in writing, either by mail or electronically, and the customer shall be given an opportunity to withdraw from the program if the customer does not wish to continue under the new terms.

   (4)  The public utility shall provide a receipt, or a confirmation, transaction or reference number, either electronically or on paper, to the customer upon payment through the electronic method. This requirement does not apply if the payment method is through a preauthorized automated debit from a customer’s financial account.

   (5)  The public utility shall employ all reasonable measures to protect customer information from unauthorized disclosure and to prevent access to customer account records by persons who are not properly authorized to have access.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.25 issued under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  1401—1419.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.25 adopted October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473.



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