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PaG&E to pay $2.3M more in refunds over electricity rate hikes

By: Myles Snyder |

An electricity supplier has agreed to pay an additional $2.3 million in refunds to Pennsylvania customers who complained of high rate hikes during the first three months of 2014.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane and acting Consumer Advocate Tanya McCloskey on Thursday announced the proposed settlement with Energy Services Providers Inc., which does business as Pennsylvania Gas and Electric.

The $2.3 million in refunds to settle allegations of deceptively marketed variable rates would be in addition to $4.5 million PaG&E has already paid.

Pennsylvanians who were on variable rate plans in January, February or March of 2014 will be contacted directly by a third-party settlement administrator if they qualify for a refund.

The refunds will be based on electricity usage and the price customers were charged. Refunds already received will be a factor in any additional money.

Kane and McCloskey said the settlement also imposes an 18-month moratorium, beginning March 1, on the selling of variable rate contracts by PaG&E. The company must offer fixed-rate contracts for terms longer than six months during the moratorium.

In future variable rate contracts, PaG&E must disclose in plain language that prices may fluctuate monthly.

The proposal needs the approval of Administrative Law Judges and the Public Utility Commission. A settlement would resolve one of five legal actions filed against electricity suppliers after last year’s variable rate hikes.

The other four actions are still in litigation.