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Consumer outrage due to winter's high electric bills spurs legislation

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Consumers, outraged over this winter's high electric bills, complained to the states's Public Utility Commission (PUC). The complaints were in such volumes that the commission is planning to enact new legislation that will change the process for shopping for a supplier.

The PUC logged more than 12,000 calls and 4,700 written message that bemoaned the fact that customers were mislead by electric suppliers on variable rate charges and the amount time it takes to change suppliers.

Lehigh/Northampton State Senator, Lisa Boscola, has introduced legislation that would make it easier to switch suppliers and ensure that customers are aware of variable rate pricing plans before signing with a company.

Senate Bill 1297 would force PUC to shorten the 45 day customer waiting period on switching electric suppliers; the same suppliers would be required to post their rates on their websites and update them daily. Also the supplier would have to notify the consumer in writing within 30 day if their monthly rate is going to increase by more than 50%.

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