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Chester County Press

Bill reauthorizing the Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act passes Pa. Senate

State Senator Lisa M. Boscola (D-Northampton) announced that her legislation, Senate Bill 1017, passed the PA Senate with broad bipartisan support. The bill focuses on amending and reauthorizing Chapter 14, known as "The Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act," set to expire on December 31, 2024.

Chapter 14, initially established in 2004, serves to shield responsible customers of public utilities by providing fair avenues for reducing unpaid accounts. Senator Boscola expressed thanks for the Senate's support, highlighting the collaborative efforts that went into the bill following numerous public hearings and stakeholder meetings.

"Senate Bill 1017 is a dedicated effort to make measured and balanced updates to enhance this essential consumer protection tool,” Boscola said.

Beyond permanently reauthorizing the Chapter, Senate Bill 1017 introduces updates to strengthen customer protections. These include improvements to payment arrangements, termination notices, extended safeguards for medically vulnerable customers, enhancements to customer assistance programs, and expanded protections for domestic violence victims. The bill also modernizes notification standards for public utilities and prioritizes safety for utility workers during service terminations.

She emphasized that this marks an important step in renewing the chapter, urging swift action from the House and Governor before the scheduled expiration in December 2024.