FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 29, 2022
The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) announced that it will investigate the unusually large charge assessed by the Philadelphia Gas Works to many of its residential customers on their June 2022 bill.
The fee resulted from the assessment of PGW’s Weather Normalization Adjustment (WNA) charge that is applied to customers’ bills between October 1st and May 31st of each year. This charge has been in place for the last 20 years and allows PGW to adjust its bills up or down when the actual weather is different from normal weather patterns. When weather is colder than normal customers get a credit and when weather is warmer than normal customers are assessed a fee. Ordinarily, these charges are a few dollars a month either as a charge or a credit to consumers; however, in June 2022 many customers in Philadelphia received WNA charges that were significantly higher than expected some of which were more than $50 to $100. This charge is not related to recent increases in the price of natural gas and applies regardless of whether a customer is served by a competitive supplier.
“My office is looking into PGW’s application of the WNA to see whether there was an error in the calculation as well as whether, even in the absence of an error, the WNA should be modified or eliminated because it produces unjust and unreasonable rates” said Consumer Advocate Patrick Cicero. The OCA has received several complaints from consumers about these charges and will be assisting those consumers to try to correct the situation. “The simple truth is that no one expects to get a high gas bill in June, and this is especially challenging for households on a fixed income after LIHEAP is already closed and there is limited help available,” said Cicero.
The OCA encourages PGW customers to closely examine their recent gas utility bill to see if there is a large WNA charge on the bill. If consumers have questions about this charge, they have the right to file a dispute with PGW and if you are not satisfied with the outcome of that dispute consumers can file an informal or formal complaint with the Public Utility Commission.
Contact our office if you have questions: The OCA has a consumer hotline that can assist households who have questions about their energy bills including WNA charges. Call 1-800-684-6560 Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the PA Office of Consumer Advocate: The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) represents the interests of Pennsylvania utility consumers in cases before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), federal agencies and state and federal courts. The OCA uses its resources to help the greatest number of consumers and generally focuses on the needs of residential consumers. Attorneys and staff advocate for Pennsylvanians’ access to reliable, safe and affordable utility service.
Click here to view the Press Release as a PDF.
Patrick Cicero, Consumer Advocate
Christine Maloni Hoover, Deputy Consumer Advocate
Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate
555 Walnut Street, 5th Floor, Forum Place
Harrisburg, PA 17101-1923