"Be Utility Wise" event dates announced

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will kick off its annual series of statewide “Be Utility Wise” education events in mid-September – highlighting customer assistance programs intended to help low-income households maintain essential utility services. The theme for this year’s campaign is “it takes a village of resources,” underscoring the roles that many different organizations play in providing services to families in-need.

PUC outreach events will be held in Erie on Sept. 13, and in the Pittsburgh area on Sept. 27, with additional presentations continuing across Pennsylvania through October and November.

“One of the biggest challenges we face is connecting struggling consumers to the resources and agencies who can help them,” said PUC Chairman Gladys M. Brown. “By working together with community organizations, who are on the front lines every day, we hope to increase awareness of various customer assistance programs and reach more residents who may be struggling to heat their homes or pay their utility bills.”

The PUC’s Be Utility Wise events are intended to help local human service agencies and assistance organizations better understand the utility programs and services available in their communities. The free “train-the-trainer” events feature presentations from state agencies, local utility companies and other financial assistance programs to share ideas. Presenters will discuss financial assistance programs for utility customers, career tools for job seekers, energy conservation and weatherization, protecting against utility scams and more.

According to data compiled by the PUC, Pennsylvania utilities spent nearly $398 million on various customer assistance programs last year, not counting private assistance or the federal Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Every year, these programs help reduce the monthly bills or reduce energy consumption for more than 313,000 electric customers and over 160,000 natural gas customers across the state – and enrollment and annual spending for these programs has increased dramatically over the past decade.

Additionally, utilities and their customers also contribute several million dollars per year in hardship funds, assisting thousands of in-need families.

The PUC’s Be Utility Wise events include:

Erie

Sept. 13, 2017

Bel Aire Clarion Hotel and Conference Center

2800 West 8th St.

Erie, PA

8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Pittsburgh Area

Sept. 27, 2017

Park Inn Beaver Falls

7195 Eastwood Rd.

Beaver Falls, PA

8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Philadelphia Area

Oct. 19, 2017

PECO Energy – Energy Hall

2301 Market St.

Philadelphia, PA

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Area

Oct. 17, 2017

Mohegan Sun Conference Center

1280 Highway 315

Wilkes Barre, PA

8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Berks County

Oct. 30, 2017

Double Tree Hotel

701 Penn St.

Reading, PA

7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Johnstown

Oct. 31, 2017

Holiday Inn Johnstown Downtown

250 Market St.

Johnstown, PA

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Harrisburg Area

Nov. 15, 2017

Red Lion Inn

4751 Lindle Rd.

Harrisburg, PA

9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.

For recent news releases and video of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.pa.gov. Follow the PUC on Twitter – @PA_PUC for all things utility.  “Like” Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Facebook for easy access to information on utility issues.

 

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