Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter G. RESTORATION OF SERVICE


Sec.


56.191.    Payment and timing.
56.192.    Personnel available to restore service.

Cross References

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

§ 56.191. Payment and timing.

 (a)  Fee. A public utility may require a reconnection fee based upon the public utility’s cost as approved by the Commission prior to reconnection of service following lawful termination of the service. The amount of this fee must be specified in the public utility’s tariff on file with the Commission.

 (b)  Timing. When service to a dwelling has been terminated, the public utility shall reconnect service as follows:

   (1)  Customers.

     (i)   Within 24 hours for erroneous terminations or upon receipt by the public utility of a valid medical certification. Erroneous terminations include instances when the grounds for termination were removed by the customer paying the amount needed to avoid termination prior to the termination of the service.

     (ii)   Within 24 hours for terminations and reconnections occurring after November 30 and before April 1.

     (iii)   Within 3 calendar days for erroneous terminations requiring street or sidewalk digging.

     (iv)   Within 3 calendar days from April 1 to November 30 for proper terminations.

     (v)   Within 7 calendar days for proper terminations requiring street or sidewalk digging.

   (2)  Applicants. When the applicant has met all applicable conditions:

     (i)   Within 24 hours for erroneous terminations or upon receipt by the public utility of a valid medical certification. The public utility is not required to modify or eliminate the payment required to restore service if a medical certificate is presented. Erroneous terminations include instances when the grounds for termination were removed by the customer paying the amount needed to avoid termination prior to the termination of the service.

     (ii)   Within 24 hours for terminations and reconnections occurring after November 30 and before April 1.

     (iii)   Within 3 calendar days for erroneous terminations requiring street or sidewalk digging.

     (iv)   Within 3 calendar days from April 1 to November 30 for proper terminations.

     (v)   Within 7 calendar days for proper terminations requiring street or sidewalk digging.

 (c)  Payment to restore service.

   (1)  A public utility shall provide for and inform the applicant or customer of a location where the customer can make payment to restore service. A public utility shall inform the applicant or customer that conditions for restoration of service may differ if someone in the household is a victim of domestic violence with a protection from abuse order or a court order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in this Commonwealth which provides clear evidence of domestic violence. A public utility shall also inform the applicant or customer that the timing and conditions for restoration of service may differ if someone in the household is seriously ill or affected by a medical condition which will be aggravated without public utility service.

   (2)  A public utility may require:

     (i)   Full payment of any outstanding balance incurred together with any reconnection fees by the customer or applicant prior to reconnection of service if the customer or applicant has an income exceeding 300% of the Federal poverty level or has defaulted on two or more payment arrangements. For purposes of this section, neither a payment arrangement intended to amortize a make-up bill under §  56.14 (relating to previously unbilled public utility service) or the definition of ‘‘billing month’’ in §  56.2 (relating to definitions), nor a payment arrangement that has been paid in full by the customer, are to be considered a default. Budget billing plans and amortization of budget plan reconciliation amounts under §  56.12(8) (relating to meter reading; estimated billing; customer readings) may not be considered a default for the purposes of this section.

     (ii)   If a customer or applicant with household income exceeding 300% of the Federal poverty level experiences a life event, the customer shall be permitted a period of not more than 3 months to pay the outstanding balance required for reconnection. For purposes of this subparagraph, a life event is:

       (A)   A job loss that extends beyond 9 months.

       (B)   A serious illness that extends beyond 9 months.

       (C)   Death of the primary wage earner.

     (iii)   Full payment of any reconnection fees together with repayment over 12 months of any outstanding balance incurred by the customer or applicant, if the customer or applicant has an income exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level but not greater than 300% of the Federal poverty level. The initial payment required toward the outstanding balance as a condition of restoration cannot exceed 1/12 of the outstanding balance.

     (iv)   Full payment of any reconnection fees together with payment over 24 months of any outstanding balance incurred by the customer or applicant if the customer or applicant has an income not exceeding 150% of the Federal poverty level. The initial payment required toward the outstanding balance as a condition of restoration cannot exceed 1/24 of the outstanding balance. A customer or applicant of a city natural gas distribution operation whose household income does not exceed 135% of the Federal poverty level shall be reinstated under this subsection only if the customer or applicant enrolls in the customer assistance program of the city natural gas distribution operation. This requirement may not apply if the financial benefits to the customer or applicant are greater if served outside of that assistance program.

 (d)  Payment of outstanding balance at premises as a condition to restore service. A public utility may require the payment of any outstanding balance or portion of an outstanding balance if the applicant or customer resided at the property for which service is requested during the time the outstanding balance accrued and for the time the applicant or customer resided there, not exceeding 4 years prior to the date of requesting that service be restored. The 4-year limit does not apply in instances of fraud and theft.

 (e)  Approval. A public utility may establish that an applicant or customer previously resided at a property for which residential service is requested through the use of mortgage, deed or lease information, a commercially available consumer credit reporting service or other methods approved as valid by the Commission. Public utilities shall include in their tariffs filed with the Commission the methods, other than those specifically mentioned in this subsection, used to determine liability for outstanding balances.

 (f)  Dishonorable tender of payment for reconnection of service. A public utility may immediately terminate service if a payment for reconnection of service is subsequently dishonored, revoked, canceled or otherwise not authorized and which has not been cured or otherwise paid in full within 3 business days of the public utility’s dishonored payment notice to the customer under §  56.93(a) (relating to personal contact).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.191 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  331, 501, 504—506, 1301, 1305, 1401—1419, 1501—1504 and 1509.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.191 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; amended September 10, 1982, effective September 11, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 3093; 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 (359009) to (359011).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  56.35 (relating to payment of outstanding balance); 52 Pa. Code §  56.41 (relating to general rule); 56 Pa. Code §  56.82 (relating to timing of termination); 52 Pa. Code §  56.111 (relating to general provision); 52 Pa. Code §  56.115 (relating to restoration of service); 52 Pa. Code §  56.142 (relating to time for filing an informal compliant); 52 Pa. Code §  56.192 (personnel available to restore service); and 52 Pa. Code §  57.257 (relating to disputes concerning advanced metering).

§ 56.192. Personnel available to restore service.

 A public utility shall have adequate personnel available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on each working day or for a commensurate period of 8 consecutive hours to restore service when required under this chapter, specifically in § §  56.82 and 56.191 (relating to timing of termination; and payment and timing).

Authority

   The provisions of this §  56.192 amended under the Public Utility Code, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  1401—1419.

Source

   The provisions of this §  56.192 adopted June 16, 1978, effective June 17, 1978, 8 Pa.B. 1655; amended October 7, 2011, effective October 8, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 5473. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (252048).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  57.257 (relating to disputes concerning advanced metering).



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