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COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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Pennsylvania Code



Subchapter C. CUSTOMER INFORMATION DISCLOSURE


Sec.


62.71.    Purpose.
62.72.    Definitions.
62.73.    Standards and pricing practice for retail natural gas service.
62.74.    Bill format for residential and small business customers.
62.75.    Disclosure statement for residential and small business customers.
62.76.    Request for information.
62.77.    Marketing/sales activities.
62.78.    Privacy of customer information.
62.79.    Complaint handling process.
62.80.    Common natural gas competition terms.
62.81.    Notice of contract expiration or change in terms for residential and small business customers.

Authority

   The provisions of this Subchapter C issued under the Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act, 66 Pa.C.S. § §  2205(c) and 2206(c), unless otherwise noted.

Source

   The provisions of this Subchapter C adopted April 13, 2001, effective April 14, 2001, 31 Pa.B. 2005, unless otherwise noted.

§ 62.71. Purpose.

 (a)  The purpose of this subchapter is to require that all natural gas providers enable customers to make informed choices regarding the purchase of all natural gas services offered by providing adequate and accurate customer information. Information shall be provided to customers in an understandable format that enables customers to compare prices and services on a uniform basis.

 (b)  As to the scope of this subchapter, this section and § §  62.72 and 62.73 (relating to definitions; and standards and pricing practices for retail natural gas service) apply to all customers, including large commercial and industrial customers. Sections 62.74—62.79 apply only to residential and small business customers, as defined in §  62.72. Section 62.80 (relating to common natural gas competition terms) applies as described in §  62.73(4).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.72. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Basic services—Services necessary for the physical delivery of natural gas to a retail customer, consisting of natural gas distribution services and natural gas supply services.

   Billed price—The disclosed NGS price on the customer bill.

   City gate—The point where interstate pipelines deliver gas into NGDC facilities.

   Commission—The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

   Commodity charges or natural gas supply charges—Basic service charges for natural gas supply services to retail customers, excluding charges for natural gas distribution services.

   Consumer—A retail gas customer.

   Customer—A person that buys retail natural gas.

   Customer information—Written, oral or electronic communications used by natural gas providers to communicate to consumers prices and terms of service.

   Disclosure statement—The written disclosure of the terms of service between an NGS and a customer which satisfies the definition of “consumer contract” in section 3 of the Plain Language Consumer Contract Act (73 P.S. §  2203).

   Disclosure statement prices—The disclosed NGS prices in the disclosure statement.

   Distribution charges—Basic service charges for the delivery of natural gas to a retail customer from the point of receipt into the NGDC’s distribution system. These charges include basic service under §  56.15(4) (relating to billing information) and universal service, as applicable.

   Efficiency information—The existing NGDC efficiency information included in the NGDC’s consumer education program.

   Historical billing data—The minimum of 12 months of data as recorded by the NGDC, which contains usage data and dollar amount billed, unless 12 months of this data is not available, in which case the NGDC shall provide as much billing data as available. This data is thousand cubic feet (Mcf), hundred cubic feet (ccf) or dekatherms (Dth) consumption at some prescribed interval of consumption and associated cost.

   Marketed prices—The disclosed prices on NGS marketing customer information.

   NGDC—Natural gas distribution company—A public utility or city natural gas distribution operation that provides natural gas distribution services and which may provide natural gas supply services and other services. For purposes of this subchapter, the term does not include the following:

     (i)   Any public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission which has annual gas operating revenues of less than $6 million per year, except when the public utility voluntarily petitions the Commission to be included within this definition or when the public utility seeks to provide natural gas supply services to retail gas customers outside its service territory.

     (ii)   A natural gas public utility subject to the jurisdiction of the Commission that is not interconnected to an interstate gas pipeline by means of a direct connection or an indirect connection through the distribution system of another natural gas public utility or through a natural gas gathering system.

   NGS—Natural gas supplier—An entity other than an NGDC, but including NGDC marketing affiliates, which provides natural gas supply services to retail gas customers utilizing the jurisdictional facilities of an NGDC.

     (i)   The term includes an NGDC that provides natural gas supply services outside its certificate service territories.

     (ii)   The term includes a municipal corporation, its affiliates or any joint venture, to the extent that it chooses to provide natural gas supply services to retail customers located outside of its corporate or municipal limits, as applicable, other than the following:

       (A)   As provided prior to July 1, 1999, the effective date of 66 Pa.C.S. Chapter 22 (relating to Natural Gas Choice and Competition Act), under a certificate of public convenience if required under 66 Pa.C.S. (relating to Public Utility Code).

       (B)   The total natural gas supply services in de minimis amounts.

       (C)   Natural gas supply services requested by, or provided with the consent of, the public utility in whose certificated territory the services are provided.

       (D)   Natural gas supply services provided to the municipal corporation itself or its tenants on land it owns or leases, or is subject to an agreement of sale or pending condemnation, as of September 1, 1999, to the extent permitted by applicable law independent of 66 Pa.C.S. Chapter 22.

     (iii)   The term excludes an entity to the extent that it provides free gas to end-users under the terms of an oil or gas lease. Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, an NGS that is not an NGDC is not a public utility as defined in 66 Pa.C.S. §  102 (relating to definitions) to the extent that the NGS is utilizing the jurisdictional distribution facilities of an NGDC or is providing other services authorized by the Commission.

   Natural gas distribution service—The delivery of natural gas to retail gas customers utilizing the jurisdictional facilities of the NGDC.

   Natural gas providers—The term refers collectively to the NGDC, NGS, marketer, aggregator or broker, or both, as well as any third party acting on behalf of these entities.

   Natural gas supply charges or commodity charges—Basic service charges for natural gas supply services to retail customers, excluding charges for natural gas distribution services.

   Natural gas supply services

     (i)   The term includes the following:

       (A)   The sale or arrangement of the sale of natural gas to retail customers.

       (B)   Services that may be unbundled by the Commission under 66 Pa.C.S. §  2203(3) (relating to standards for restructuring of natural gas utility industry).

     (ii)   The term does not include distribution service.

   Nonbasic services—Optional recurring services which are distinctly separate and clearly not required for the physical delivery of natural gas service. Examples include a gas line repair program and a gas appliance warranty program.

   Retail gas customer—A direct purchaser of natural gas supply services or natural gas distribution services, other than an NGS. The term excludes an occupant of a building or facility where the owner/operators manage the internal distribution system serving the building or facility and supply natural gas and other related services to occupants of the building or facility; where the owners/operators are direct purchasers of natural gas supply service; and when the occupants are not direct purchasers.

   Small business customer—This term refers to a person, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association or other business entity that receives natural gas service under a small commercial, small industrial or small business rate classification, and whose aggregate maximum registered annual consumption with the NGDC was less than 300 Mcfs, or equivalent, over the last 12 months.

Source

   The provisions of this §  62.72 amended August 12, 2016, effective August 13, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 4959. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (360919) to (360921).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); 52 Pa. Code §  62.73 (relating to standards and pricing practices for retail natural gas service); 52 Pa. Code §  62.222 (relating to definitions); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

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

 In furnishing retail natural gas service, NGDCs and NGSs or any entity that otherwise provides retail natural gas service information to customers, shall comply with the following:

   (1)  Use common and consistent terminology in customer communications, including marketing, billing and disclosure statements and use the standard pricing unit of the NGDC. The three standard pricing units that are currently used by NGDCs are ccfs, Mcfs and Dths.

   (2)  Use the term NGDC as described in §  62.72 (relating to definitions) as a standard term.

   (3)  Use the terms as defined in the Commission’s “Consumer’s Dictionary for Natural Gas Competition” (Dictionary), maintained on file in the Commission’s Office of Communications. NGDCs shall provide this Dictionary upon customer request, and the “Common Natural Gas Competition Terms” as described in paragraph (4) shall indicate the phone number and address of the NGDC to request the Dictionary.

   (4)  Each NGDC will distribute the “Common Natural Gas Competition Terms,” found in §  62.80 (relating to common natural gas competition terms), as part of its consumer education program, as a bill insert or in a separate mailing once per year for the life of the NGDC’s choice education campaign, which is mandated in 66 Pa.C.S. §  2206(d) (relating to consumer protections and customer service).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.74. Bill format for residential and small business customers.

 (a)  NGS billed prices shall reflect the marketed prices and the disclosure statement prices.

 (b)  The following requirements apply only to the extent to which an entity has responsibility for billing customers, and to the extent that the charges are applicable. Duplication of billing for the same or identical charges by both the NGDC and NGS is not permitted.

   (1)  NGDC charges shall appear separately from NGS charges.

   (2)  Charges for basic services shall appear before charges for nonbasic services, and appear distinctly separate.

   (3)  Customer bills shall contain the following charges, if these charges are applicable, and these charges shall appear in a distinct section of the bill. The designation or label of each charge as either a basic charge or nonbasic charge appears in parentheses following the name of the charge. This label of either basic or nonbasic is not required to accompany the name of the charge on the bill.

     (i)   Commodity charges (basic).

       (A)   Commodity charges shall be presented in the standard pricing unit for natural gas of the NGDC in actual dollars or cents per standard pricing unit or actual average dollars or cents per standard pricing unit.

       (B)   Commodity charges shall appear first among the basic charges with one exception. NGDCs may place the customer charge first among the basic charges.

     (ii)   Distribution charges (basic).

     (iii)   Customer charge or basic charge (charge for basic service in §  56.15 (relating to billing information)) (basic).

     (iv)   Gas cost adjustment charges (basic).

     (v)   Interstate transition cost surcharges (basic).

     (vi)   Taxes (Comply with §  56.15) (basic).

     (vii)   Late payment charges (basic).

     (viii)   Security deposit (basic).

     (ix)   Reconnection fee (basic).

     (x)   Itemization of nonbasic charges (nonbasic).

     (xi)   Overall billing total.

   (4)  The entity reading the meter for billing purposes shall provide the following natural gas use data figures:

     (i)   The total annual natural gas use for the past 12 months in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC including the current billing cycle. This is a single cumulative number.

     (ii)   The average monthly natural gas use for the past 12 months in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC including the current billing cycle. This is a single cumulative number.

   (5)  The requirements of §  56.15 shall be incorporated in customer bills to the extent that §  56.15 applies.

   (6)  Definitions for the following charges and terms are required in a customer’s bill, if they appear as billing items, as contained in §  62.80 (relating to common natural gas competition terms), and shall be in a distinctly separate section of the bill:

     (i)   Commodity charges.

     (ii)   Distribution charges.

     (iii)   Customer charge/basic charge (charge for basic service in §  56.15).

     (iv)   Gas cost adjustment charges.

     (v)   The standard pricing unit of the NGDC, either, ccf, Mcf or Dth.

   (7)  “General Information” is the required title for customer contact information in a customer’s bill.

     (i)   The name, address, telephone number and Internet address for the NGS and NGDC shall be included.

     (ii)   Both NGDC and NGS information in subparagraph (i) is required on all customer bills with the billing entity’s information first.

   (8)  When a customer chooses the option to receive a separate bill for competitive natural gas supply, the NGDC shall include in a customer’s bill the following information where the NGS charges would normally appear:

     (i)   The NGS’s name.

     (ii)   A statement that the customer’s NGS is responsible for the billing of NGS charges.

   (9)  When a customer chooses the option to receive a single bill from the NGDC, the NGDC shall include in the customer’s bill the name of the NGS where the NGS charges appear.

   (10)  For customers who have chosen to receive gas supply from a competitive supplier, the customer’s bill shall include the following statements which may appear together in a paragraph:

     (i)   “Commodity prices and charges are set by the natural gas supplier you have chosen.”

     (ii)   “The Public Utility Commission regulates distribution prices and services.”

 (c)  The billing entity shall provide samples of customer bills to the Commission for review prior to issuance to customers.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  56.15 (relating to billing information); 52 Pa. Code §  56.262 (relating to billing information); 52 Pa. Code §  56.265 (relating to billing information); 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.75. Disclosure statement for residential and small business customers.

 (a)  The disclosure statement prices must reflect the marketed prices and the billed prices.

 (b)  The NGS shall provide the customer a written disclosure statement containing the terms of service at no charge whenever:

   (1)  The customer requests that an NGS initiate service.

   (2)  The NGS proposes to change the terms of service.

 (c)  The disclosure statement’s terms of service shall be disclosed, including the following terms and conditions, if applicable:

   (1)  Commodity charges shall be disclosed according to the actual prices and be presented in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC or other Commission-approved standard pricing unit. Commodity charges must include estimated total state taxes. Commodity charges exclude State sales tax and county tax.

   (2)  The variable pricing statement (if applicable) must include:

     (i)   Conditions of variability (state on what basis prices will vary) including the NGS’s specific prescribed variable pricing methodology.

     (ii)   The starting price and the ceiling price, if the ceiling price is applicable. If the price is introductory, the variable pricing statement must include a statement that the price is an introductory price, the duration of the introductory period and the price for the first billing cycle after the introductory period.

     (iii)   If there is not a limit on price variability, the NGS shall provide a clear and conspicuous statement that there is not a limit on how much the price may change from one billing cycle to the next.

     (iv)   A description of when and how the customer will receive notification of price changes.

     (v)   A telephone number and Internet address at which a customer may obtain the previous 24 months’ average monthly billed prices for that customer’s rate class and NGDC service territory. If an NGS has not been providing service in a rate class and NGDC service territory for 24 months, the NGS shall provide the average monthly billed prices for the months available to date. If price history or representative price information is not available for the product, the NGS shall inform the customer of this fact.

     (vi)   In plain language, a statement that historical pricing is not indicative of present or future pricing.

   (3)  An itemization of basic and nonbasic charges distinctly separate and clearly labeled.

   (4)  The length of the agreement, which includes:

     (i)   The starting date.

     (ii)   The expiration date, if applicable.

   (5)  An explanation of sign-up bonuses, add-ons, limited time offers, other sales promotions and exclusions, if applicable.

   (6)  An explanation of prices, terms and conditions for special services, if applicable.

   (7)  The cancellation provisions, if applicable.

   (8)  The renewal provisions, if applicable.

   (9)  An explanation of limits on price variability, penalties, fees or exceptions, printed in type size larger than the type size appearing in the terms of service. Penalties shall be disclosed in actual dollars or a specific method for determining the actual dollars shall be disclosed.

   (10)  Customer contact information that includes the name of the NGS, the NGS’s address, telephone number, Commission license number and Internet address, if available.

   (11)  A statement providing that information about shopping for a gas supplier is available at www.PaGasSwitch.com or other successor media platform as determined by the Commission, by calling the Commission at (800) 692-7380 and at www.oca.state.pa.us.

 (d)  Customers shall be provided a 3-day right of rescission period following receipt of the disclosure statement from the NGS.

   (1)  The 3-day right of rescission is 3 business days.

   (2)  The 3-day right of rescission begins when the customer receives the disclosure statement from the NGS.

   (3)  The customer may cancel in writing, orally or electronically, if available, by contacting the NGS.

   (4)  Waivers of the 3-day right of rescission are not permitted.

 (e)  The definition for commodity charges is required on natural gas disclosure statements and must be defined in accordance with §  62.80 (relating to common natural gas competition terms). Definitions for other basic charges, if applicable, are required. Definitions for each of the nonbasic services, if applicable, are required. The definition section of the bill must be distinctly separate.

 (f)  The NGS shall include in the customer’s disclosure statement the following statements which may appear together in a paragraph:

   (1)  ‘‘Commodity prices and charges are set by the natural gas supplier you have chosen.’’

   (2)  ‘‘The Public Utility Commission regulates distribution prices and services.’’

 (g)  Disclosure statements must include the following customer notification:

   

  ‘‘If you have a fixed duration contract approaching the expiration date, or whenever we propose to change the terms of service, you will receive two separate written notifications, the first approximately 60 to 75 days in advance and the second 45 days in advance of either the expiration date or the effective date of the proposed changes. These notifications will explain your options going forward.’’

 (h)  If the supplier of last resort changes, the new supplier of last resort shall notify customers of that change, and shall provide customers with the name, address, telephone number and Internet address, if available.

 (i)  The NGS shall provide, with the disclosure statement, a separate NGS contract summary in a format provided by the Commission.

 (j)  If the contract is assignable, the NGS shall inform the customer at the time the parties enter into the contract. Prior to a contract assignment, the NGS shall provide notice to the affected customer, the affected NGDC and the Commission. The customer notice must include the name of the new NGS, the contact information for the new NGS and language informing the customer that contract terms and conditions remain unchanged.

Source

   The provisions of this §  62.75 amended August 12, 2016, effective August 13, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 4959. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (360924) and (367205) to (367206).

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); 52 Pa. Code §  62.81 (relating to notice of contract expiration or change in terms for residential and small business customers); 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs); 52 Pa. Code §  111.2 (relating to definitions); 52 Pa. Code §  111.7 (relating to customer authorization to transfer account; transaction; verification; documentation); 52 Pa. Code §  111.11 (relating to receipt of disclosure statement and right to rescind transaction); and 52 Pa. Code §  111.12 (relating to consumer protection).

§ 62.76. Request for information.

 (a)  Natural gas providers shall respond to reasonable customer requests for efficiency information by indicating that these materials are available upon request from the Commission or the NGDC.

 (b)  Residential and small business customers, upon request from the customer, are entitled to receive at no charge and at least once a year, historical bill-ing data from whomever reads the meter for billing purposes. If the customer is receiving competitive natural gas supply service from an NGS, and receiving a separate bill from the NGS, the NGS will provide dollar amounts billed.

   (1)  The NGDC is only obligated to provide information that is readily available in its billing system.

   (2)  The historical billing data shall be conveyed in terms of the NGDC’s standard pricing unit, for example, ccfs, Mcfs or Dths, and associated charges for the current billing period and for the year preceding the current billing period.

   (3)  The historical billing data will be updated with each billing cycle.

 (c)  Natural gas providers shall notify consumers not less than once per year either in advertising materials, disclosure statements or bills that efficiency information and historical billing data is available upon request.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.77. Marketing/sales activities.

 (a)  An NGS’s marketed prices shall reflect disclosure statement prices and billed prices and shall be presented in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC.

 (b)  An NGS’s marketing materials that offer terms of service in a disclosure statement for acceptance by customers shall include prices, as follows:

   (1)  If using a fixed price, the NGS shall show charges for supply service in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC at monthly usage levels equivalent to 15, 80 and 120 ccfs of natural gas in a table format.

   (2)  If using a variable price mechanism, the NGS shall factor in all costs associated with the rate charged to the customer for supply service, and show the starting price and ceiling price for supply service, if the ceiling price is applicable, in the standard pricing unit of the NGDC at monthly usage levels equivalent to 15, 80 and 120 ccfs of natural gas, in a table format.

   (3)  The NGS shall note the effective date of the prices shown in the table provided under paragraph (1) or (2) and if the prices are a limited time offer, the NGS shall note the expiration date of the limited time offer.

 (c)  Advertising materials targeted for residential and small business sales shall be made available upon request of the Commission.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.78. Privacy of customer information.

 (a)  An NGDC or NGS may not release private customer information to a third party unless the customer has been notified of this intent and has been given a convenient method, consistent with subsection (b), of notifying the entity of the customer’s desire to restrict the release of the private information. If the customer does not choose to restrict the release of one of the two restriction options in paragraphs (1) and (2), all of the customer’s private information may be released to a third party except for the telephone number. If the customer chooses to restrict the release of private customer information, the customer may restrict information released according to one of the following two restriction options:

   (1)  Restrict the release of only the customer’s historical billing data in the NGDC’s standard pricing unit, that is, as denominated by the NGDC.

   (2)  Restrict the release of all private customer information including name, billing address, service address, rate class, rate subclass, account number and historical billing data in the NGDC’s standard pricing unit, that is, as denominated by the NGDC.

 (b)  Customers shall be permitted to restrict information as specified in subsection (a) by returning a signed form, or by oral or electronic communication.

 (c)  Nothing in this section prohibits the NGS and NGDC from performing their mandatory obligations to provide natural gas service as specified in the disclosure statement and in 66 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Public Utility Code).

 (d)  Telephone numbers may not be released to third parties.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); 52 Pa. Code §  62.142 (relating to standards of conduct); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.79. Complaint handling process.

 NGDCs and NGSs shall disclose to customers the following with respect to the rights of customers in the handling and resolution of complaints:

   (1)  Residential and small business customers shall directly contact the party responsible for the service in question as an initial step for complaint and problem resolution. If the customer mistakenly contacts the wrong entity, the customer shall be promptly referred to the appropriate contact. In the event of an unexpected loss of firm gas service, the customer shall be directed to the NGDC.

   (2)  Complaints that pertain to Chapter 56 (relating to standards and billing practices for residential utility service) matters shall be handled and resolved in accordance with the standards in Chapter 56.

   (3)  NGDCs and NGSs shall give the Commission access to disclosure statements, billing and other customer information resources for compliance reviews as deemed necessary by the Commission. When complaints arise and are brought before the Commission for resolution, the obligation of the NGS shall be extended to the provision of pricing information.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs); and 52 Pa. Code §  111.13 (relating to customer complaints).

§ 62.80. Common natural gas competition terms.

 The following are common natural gas competition terms:

 Burner tip—The point at which natural gas is used such as a furnace, water heater or range.

 Ccf—100 cubic feet of gas. This is a measure of gas usage.

 Chapter 56—The PUC regulations that govern metering, billing and collections for residential gas and electricity service.

 City gate—The point where interstate pipelines deliver gas into NGDC facilities.

 Commodity charges—The charges for basic gas supply service which is sold either by volume (ccf or Mcf) or heating value (dekatherms).

 Customer charge—A monthly charge to cover NGDC costs such as maintaining the gas lines, meter reading and billing.

 Distribution charges—The charges for the delivery of natural gas from the point of receipt into the NGDC’s system.

 Dth (Dekatherm)—A measure of the heat content value of gas. Gas usage is determined by multiplying the Mcf used by the heat content value of the gas.

 Gas cost adjustment charges—The amount billed or credited each month to account for differences between projected and actual gas supply costs of the NGDC.

 Mcf—1,000 cubic feet of gas. This is a measure of gas usage.

 NGDC—Natural gas distribution company—A state regulated natural gas utility which owns the gas lines and equipment necessary to deliver natural gas to the consumer. (Formerly called local distribution company)

 NGS—Natural gas supplier—An entity that sells or arranges to sell natural gas to customers that is delivered through the distribution lines of an NGDC.

 PUC—Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission—The State regulatory agency that provides oversight, policy guidance and direction to public utilities and suppliers.

 Price to compare—The dollar amount charged by the NGDC used by consumers to compare prices and potential savings with other NGSs.

 Storage—Placing natural gas into an underground facility for removal and use at a later date.

 Transmission—The moving of natural gas through the interstate pipeline system for delivery to the NGDC.

Cross References

   This section cited in 52 Pa. Code §  62.71 (relating to purpose); 52 Pa. Code §  62.74 (relating to bill format for residential and small business customers); 52 Pa. Code §  62.75 (relating to disclosure statement for residential and small business customers); 52 Pa. Code §  62.222 (relating to definitions); and 52 Pa. Code §  62.224 (relating to POR programs).

§ 62.81. Notice of contract expiration or change in terms for residential and small business customers.

 (a)  An NGS shall provide the following notices to customers prior to the expiration of a fixed duration contract or prior to a change in contract terms:

   (1)  An initial notice shall be provided to each affected customer 60 to 75 days prior to the expiration date of the fixed duration contract or the effective date of the proposed change in terms. For a customer who has elected to receive electronic communications from the NGS, the notice shall be transmitted in the manner chosen by the customer. The initial notice must include:

     (i)   A general description of the proposed change in terms of service.

     (ii)   The date a change shall be effective or when the fixed duration contract is to expire.

     (iii)   An explanation of why a change in contract terms is necessary.

     (iv)   A statement indicating when a follow-up options notice shall be issued with details regarding the proposed change.

     (v)   A statement explaining that the options notice must discuss the customer’s options to the proposed change in terms of service or expiring fixed duration contract.

     (vi)   A statement indicating whether the existing fixed duration contract has a cancellation fee and an explanation of the fee amount and how to avoid the cancellation fee, including notice of the date when the customer can choose a different product from the customer’s existing NGS, choose an alternative NGS or return to the supplier of last resort.

   (2)  An options notice shall be provided after the initial notice to each affected customer at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of the fixed duration contract or the effective date of the proposed change in terms. The notice shall be provided by first class mail unless the customer has affirmatively elected to receive electronic communications from the NGS. The options notice must include:

     (i)   A statement advising the customer of the specific changes being proposed by the NGS and informing the customer of how to exercise the customer’s options, including the customer’s ability to accept the proposed changes, to choose another product offering from the customer’s existing NGS, to select another NGS or to return to the supplier of last resort, and what will occur if the customer fails to respond to the notice. If the NGS intends to discontinue service to the customer at the end of the contract, the options notice must include a statement that the NGS will no longer serve the customer at the end of the contract and that the customer will be returned to the supplier of last resort if the customer does not select another NGS.

     (ii)   Information regarding the new billed price or renewal billed price, including the price to be charged for the first billing cycle of commodity service:

       (A)   If a customer fails to respond to the options notice and is converted to a month-to-month contract, the NGS shall provide a disclosure statement under §  62.75 (relating to disclosure statement for residential and small business customers).

         (I)   Notice of a subsequent change in billed price shall be provided to the customer at least 30 days prior to the new price being charged.

         (II)   For a customer who has elected to receive electronic communications from the NGS, notice of the change in billed price shall be transmitted in the manner chosen by the customer. For other customers, notice shall be provided by first class mail.

       (B)   If a customer fails to respond to the options notice and is entered into a new fixed duration contract, the NGS shall provide the billed price to be charged and the length of the contract.

     (iii)   The telephone numbers and Internet addresses, as applicable, for the Office of Consumer Advocate, the Commission and PaGasSwitch.com.

     (iv)   Language clearly visible on the front of the envelope used to provide the options notice stating that it contains important information regarding the expiration or changes in terms of the customer’s natural gas supply contract.

 (b)  When a customer fails to respond to the initial notice and the options notice, the following apply:

   (1)  A fixed duration contract shall be converted to one of the following:

     (i)   A month-to-month contract, either at the same terms and conditions or at revised terms and conditions, as long as the contract does not contain cancellation fees.

     (ii)   Another fixed duration contract, as long as the new contract includes a customer-initiated cancellation provision that allows the customer to cancel at any time, for any reason, and does not contain cancellation fees.

   (2)  The converted contracts must remain in place until the customer chooses one of the following options:

     (i)   Selects another product offering from the existing NGS.

     (ii)   Enrolls with another NGS.

     (iii)   Returns to the supplier of last resort.

Source

   The provisions of this §  62.81 adopted August 12, 2016, effective August 13, 2016, 46 Pa.B. 4959.



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