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Article published June 11, 2013
Rate request irritates
Jack Beiler Penn Township
How many of you were shocked to receive with your recent gas bill a notice that Peoples TWP gas company has requested approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for a 28.4 percent rate increase for residential customers and only a 5.4 percent increase for commercial customers to be effective on June 29, 2013. Why the difference? Are residential customers more able to handle such a massive increase, or does Peoples TWP believe that residential customers are naive about what it cost to heat their homes? Peoples TWP received a rate increase in 2010. Has inflation increased in three years by 28.4 percent? I think not. In fact, there has been little inflation over the past three years. Also, one of the reasons for the rate increase request is that the company wants a return on its equity of 11.25 percent. Wouldn’t we all want a return on our investments of 11.25 percent. In today’s financial markets, one is lucky to get much more than 2 percent. Is this corporate greed? If you don’t want to see this kind of increase in your gas bill, I would urge you to call Peoples TWP office at 800-222-5101 and request the material for Original Tariff No. 8 rate increase request. Also, you can file a complaint with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission by going on the Internet and requesting a complaint form from the PUC. The form is easy to complete. All complaint forms must be filed with the PUC by July 29, 2013. Also, you can phone the PUC at 717-772-7777. They have been very helpful with any questions I have had. Remember, if the Pennsylvania PUC doesn’t receive very many complaints, it will grant the rate increase to the company.