PUC Finalizes Settlement with Peoples Natural Gas that Includes a $1,500 Civil Penalty

HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has finalized a settlement with Peoples Natural Gas Inc. that includes a $1,500 civil penalty for allegedly violating the Public Utility Code or Commission regulations.

The Commission voted 4-1 to approve the settlement, which resulted from an investigation into the company’s handling of an account that was terminated for non-payment. 

Vice Chairman Tyrone J. Christy issued a dissenting statement.  The PUC’s Prosecutory Staff alleged that the company failed to provide the customer with information about obtaining a medical certificate in order to restore service and failed to determine if the customer was satisfied with the calls to the company.

Under the terms of the settlement, the company is to:

  • Provide ongoing training for its customer representatives regarding customer medical certification information;
  • Provide written proof to the Commission within 30 days that the training of its customer representatives has taken place;
  • Provide written proof to the Commission that it has taken corrective action to add a requirement to its company representative procedures manual for customer telephone contacts that representatives should expressly inquire at that conclusion of every customer telephone call as to whether the call has been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction;
  • Provide written proof that training for its company representatives regarding the above-referenced procedures manual has been conducted; and
  • Pay a civil penalty in the amount of $1,500 to resolve the alleged violations.

In reviewing the company’s actions related to the incidents, the Prosecutory Staff alleged that Peoples violated portions of the state Public Utility Code and Commission regulations.  The company does not admit to any wrong doing under the settlement.

Peoples provides natural gas service to about 360,000 homes in Mercer, Franklin, Lawrence, Beaver, Washington, Greene, Butler, Allegheny, Fayette, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Clarion, Indiana, Somerset, Cambria and Blair counties.

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