Proposal to lessen impact of expiration of rate caps altered

Written by Scott Detrow, StateImpact Pennsylvania Reporter | Apr 23, 2009 4:09 PM

(Harrisburg) -- A state House panel has amended legislation aimed at scaling back utility bill increases that will likely take place when the commonwealth's electric rate caps begin expiring next year.

Speaker Keith McCall, Majority Leader Todd Eachus and other Democratic leaders wanted to hold increases to 15 percent over the next three years, but Consumer Affairs Committee members voted to expand that limit to 20 percent. The amended measure also allows utilities to charge interest on deferred payments. State Consumer Advocate Sonny Popowsky predicts the major debate will focus on interest rates when the full chamber considers the measure. A House Democratic spokesman says party leaders are upset by the changes and will work to restore the 15 percent cap as well as remove the interest provisions.

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