PA AG Kathleen Kane looks into complaints about electric bill spikes

Written by witf Staff Report and The Associated Press | Feb 26, 2014 12:33 PM

(Harrisburg) -- The state attorney general is encouraging people to contact her office if they have complaints about unexpected and dramatic increases in electricity bills. 

Attorney General Kathleen Kane says her office has already been contacted by hundreds of consumers, and their complaints suggest the issue is variable-rate pricing deals.

"These spikes in the price of electricity are alarming and have put many consumers, especially the poor and elderly, in a dire situation," she says in a statement. "It is my duty to protect consumers and act on their behalf. We are looking at these price increases and will be prepared to take action to protect affected consumers."

 She's telling those with complaints to provide documentation on contracts, billing, and marketing practices. Her Bureau of Consumer Protection is trying to figure out if anyone has been overcharged.

Kane notes price gouging, which is increasing prices above any increased costs, during a state of emergency is prohibited in Pennsylvania. Governor Corbett declared a state of emergency on February 5, 2014, after a major storm impacted the commonwealth.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission voted last week to review policies and rules that pertain to electric generation suppliers that buy and sell electricity.

The PUC says it has fielded more than 1,500 informal complaints from consumers about large bills.  

The Attorney General's Office has released instructions for submitting complaints:

Consumers can call her Consumer Protection Helpline at 1-800-441-2555 or the Office of Consumer Advocate at 1-800-684-6560 with any additional questions or concerns.

File a complaint by email:

File a complaint by U.S. mail:

  • Print out and complete a Consumer Complaint form;
  • Send form and all relevant documentation to:
    • Office of Attorney General
      Bureau of Consumer Protection
      15th Floor, Strawberry Square
      Harrisburg, PA 17120

File a complaint by fax:

  • Print out and complete a Consumer Complaint form;
  • Fax form and all relevant documentation to 717-705-3795 or 717-772-3560

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