Many of the public utilities in Pennsylvania are regulated by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). The purpose of the PUC is to ensure that utilities are provided to consumers at reasonable rates with safety and reliability, to educate consumers about their utility options and to promote economic development, competitive markets and new technologies, as well as protecting the environment.
There are more than 11 major electric companies that are regulated by the PUC. Among the PUC-governed companies are Pennsylvania Power Company, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company and West Penn Power, which was previously known as Allegheny power. There are also 13 electric cooperatives in Pennsylvania, which are coordinated by the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Association (PREA). The PUC does not have jurisdiction over these cooperatives, which represent approximately 12.5 percent of the distribution of electricity in Pennsylvania. PREA is governed by a Board of Directors, with one representative from each of its cooperatives. PREA offers cost-effective services to its member cooperatives, provides consumer advocacy at the state and federal levels and provides low-interest loans to rural cooperative areas.
There are more than 35 gas utilities under regulation by the PUC. Bottled propane gas and locally owned utilities are not under the jurisdiction of the PUC. You can find information on these companies by contacting your local municipal government or the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the state Attorney General's Office. A few of the companies under the PUC include Carnegie Natural Gas, PECO Gas, UGI Penn Natural Gas and Valley Energy.
Water and Wastewater
The PUC also governs over 200 water and wastewater utilities. The PUC also regulates the service and rates of municipally owned utilities that provide service to residents outside of its boundaries. The systems of mobile home parks are generally not under the jurisdiction of the PUC. A few of the water companies listed with the PUC include Appalachian Utilities, Inc., Columbia Water Company, Newtown Artesian Water Company, PA American Water Company and Total Environmental Solutions, Inc.
Applied Energy provides a Pennsylvania utility service map to assist you in locating utilities in your area. It also includes the expiration of the companies' rate caps. In addition, a map can be found on the PREA website with links to the rural cooperatives under their auspices. You can also contact your local municipality, borough or township to inquire about gas, electric and water services available in your area.
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