PUC “Smart Hearings” encourage customers to comment on rate increases

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Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission customers will soon have an interactive opportunity to comment on proposed PPL rate increases. The PUC is launching its online "Smart Hearing" pilot project. PUC officials say this option makes it easier for customers to offer insight, questions and concerns about the rates. Last month, the PUC Commission voted to investigate PPL's request for an 18.5% increase in annual electric distribution rates. Chairman, Gladys Brown, says the Smart Hearing concept will increase involvement of people during a public input hearing.

Brown says, "We want to remove all those barriers of time constraints and stream the public input hearing and people can call in and express their concerns that way we have it on record."

PUC Administrative Law Judge Susan D. Colwell will conduct a total of three hearings for public input regarding the PPL distribution rate increase request. The first two hearings will be live-streamed Smart Hearings, including both telephone and in-person testimony:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Commonwealth Keystone Building
400 North St.
Hearing Room 1
Harrisburg, PA 17120

Those wishing to offer testimony by telephone during the Smart Hearing should contact the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) at 717-783-5048 or 1-800-684-6560 no later than Tuesday, May 26 in order to register and receive additional information. Those who register to testify will be provided in advance with a 15 minute window of time when they can expect to be called in order to provide their testimony. Those who wish to attend the Harrisburg hearings can sign in at the time of the hearing. Detailed information about the hearings is available on the PUC website.

Additionally, a third hearing will be held in Allentown, where PPL is headquartered, to gather more in-person testimony:

Thursday, June 4, 2015
6 p.m.
Muhlenburg College
Seegers Union, Rooms 108-110
2400 Chew Street
Allentown PA 18104

Participation in the in-person hearing requires no prior action.