Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate was established in 1976 to represent the consumers of Pennsylvania in matters involving their utility services.

View our Social Media Policy: bit.ly/2k14sAU The Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) is a state government agency that represents the interests of Pennsylvania utility consumers before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), federal regulatory agencies, and state and federal courts. The OCA was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1976 and is an independent office within the Office of Attorney General.

Operating as usual

05/27/2021

Struggling to pay bills or put food on your table is stress-inducing. Resources are available to help make ends meet. For more information on services available through DHS and to apply for benefits visit www.compass.state.pa.us

#TuesdayTip #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth Connected to Safety
05/25/2021
Electrical Safety Foundation International

#TuesdayTip #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth Connected to Safety

The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting electrical safety in the home, school, and workplace through education, awareness, and advocacy. Over the past 20 years, ESFI has reinvigorated how electrical safety is addressed through groundb...

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled four Public Input Hearings in the proposed rate increase reques...
05/24/2021
PUC Holds Public Input Hearings on PECO Rate Increase Request

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission has scheduled four Public Input Hearings in the proposed rate increase request of PECO on Tuesday, June 8 (1 and 6 pm) and Wednesday, June 9 (1 and 6 pm). https://bit.ly/3u4otWU. The deadline to register is to testify is Friday, June 4. To participate call the OCA at 1-800-684-6560 or register by web by following the above link.

PA Public Utility Commission regulates the services you rely on: electric, natural gas, pipeline, motor carrier, rail, telecomm, water and wastewater.

Timeline Photos
05/24/2021

Timeline Photos

We're joining Upper Pottsgrove Township and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Wednesday, June 2 at 6 p.m. via a telephonic hearing to hear public input on our recent application to acquire the Upper Pottsgrove wastewater system. If you wish to speak at the public input hearing, you must pre-register by 10 a.m. on June 1. You can register by email or phone. Read more details and see how you can participate here: https://bit.ly/3wjmEXE

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program? Learn more Federal Communications Commission
05/21/2021

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program? Learn more Federal Communications Commission

Have you heard of the Emergency Broadband Benefit program? Learn more Federal Communications Commission

05/20/2021

The next telephonic PUC Public Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 20 at 10 AM. Interested parties can listen to the meeting by calling 1-888-917-8050, and then entering passcode 9570961# Agenda:https://www.puc.pa.gov/media/1524/pm05202021.pdf

Duquesne Light Company filed a proposed rate increase request w/ the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If the requ...
05/19/2021

Duquesne Light Company filed a proposed rate increase request w/ the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If the request is approved as is, the company would recover an estimated $85.8 million per year in additional overall revenues. The OCA has filed a formal complaint against the proposed rate increase (https://bit.ly/3v3JW3C). Looking to get involved? Call our office to be placed on the mailing list and/or request a Public Input Hearing (1-800-684-6560).

Duquesne Light Company filed a proposed rate increase request w/ the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If the request is approved as is, the company would recover an estimated $85.8 million per year in additional overall revenues. The OCA has filed a formal complaint against the proposed rate increase (https://bit.ly/3v3JW3C). Looking to get involved? Call our office to be placed on the mailing list and/or request a Public Input Hearing (1-800-684-6560).

#TuesdayTip Celebrate #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth more about temporary power safety! Find more tips at Electrical Saf...
05/18/2021

#TuesdayTip Celebrate #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth more about temporary power safety! Find more tips at Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) or by visiting https://www.esfi.org/

#TuesdayTip Celebrate #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth more about temporary power safety! Find more tips at Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) or by visiting https://www.esfi.org/

On March 30, Community Utilities of Pennsylvania, Inc. Water Division filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utili...
05/17/2021

On March 30, Community Utilities of Pennsylvania, Inc. Water Division filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for an increase of base rate revenues of $757,517 from customers. We have filed a formal complaint in the case (https://bit.ly/3eInXcW). Stay tuned for additional information and to learn how you can get involved.

On March 30, Community Utilities of Pennsylvania, Inc. Water Division filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for an increase of base rate revenues of $757,517 from customers. We have filed a formal complaint in the case (https://bit.ly/3eInXcW). Stay tuned for additional information and to learn how you can get involved.

ICYMI! Beginning today, The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is accepting applications. This program is aimed to assi...
05/12/2021
Emergency Broadband Benefit

ICYMI! Beginning today, The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is accepting applications. This program is aimed to assist consumers struggling to afford internet & telephone service. Learn more by visiting the link below. #Broadband4All

Congress has tasked the FCC with developing a new $3.2 billion program to help U.S. households that are struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. The FCC is mobilizing people and organizations to help share important consumer information about the Emergency Broadband Benefit. To pa...

05/11/2021
www.oca.state.pa.us

On 4/13 Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority filed a proposed rate increases request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). If the proposal is approved as is, PWSA will recover an additional $32 million in overall revenues (impacting both water and wastewater customers). This proposed amount includes the addition of a new stormwater fee for properties in the city of Pittsburgh. Our office has filed formal complaints against the proposed rate increases & asked for a thorough investigation by the PUC. For more details on the cases or learn how you can get involved: https://bit.ly/3f5BQ3Q.

#TuesdayTip #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI): Home Safety Devices - Reno...
05/11/2021

#TuesdayTip #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI): Home Safety Devices - Renovate your Home to Code

#TuesdayTip #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI): Home Safety Devices - Renovate your Home to Code

Are you at risk of termination? We are urging customers to contact their utility company directly to discuss assistance ...
05/10/2021

Are you at risk of termination? We are urging customers to contact their utility company directly to discuss assistance programs and payment plan options that may be available.

Terminations for utilities under Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission jurisdiction may resume on April 1. This means regardless of household income, service may be terminated. Customers behind on their bills should contact their utility ASAP to discuss possible payment arrangements and assistance options.

05/06/2021

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission will hold its public meeting this morning at 10 am. View the meeting agenda which includes the call-in number for the meeting: https://bit.ly/3b7WJtN

Are you an impacted by the proposed rate increase request by PECO electric division? Call our office at 1-800-684-6560 t...
05/05/2021

Are you an impacted by the proposed rate increase request by PECO electric division? Call our office at 1-800-684-6560 to request a public input hearing (https://bit.ly/2RdlKN0)

Are you an impacted by the proposed rate increase request by PECO electric division? Call our office at 1-800-684-6560 to request a public input hearing (https://bit.ly/2RdlKN0)

The Emergency Broadband Program is a temporary program designed to help consumers struggling to afford internet and tech...
05/04/2021

The Emergency Broadband Program is a temporary program designed to help consumers struggling to afford internet and technology services through the COVID-19 pandemic. This new initiative is set to launch Wednesday, May 12. Learn more details about the program by visiting: https://bit.ly/3e2nL7U

The Emergency Broadband Program is a temporary program designed to help consumers struggling to afford internet and technology services through the COVID-19 pandemic. This new initiative is set to launch Wednesday, May 12. Learn more details about the program by visiting: https://bit.ly/3e2nL7U

#TuesdayTip DYK May is #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth? In 2021, Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)’s them...
05/04/2021

#TuesdayTip DYK May is #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth? In 2021, Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)’s theme is “Connected to Safety” which is dedicated to making technology at home safe and efficient. https://bit.ly/3aLyzoY

#TuesdayTip DYK May is #NationalElectricalSafetyMonth? In 2021, Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)’s theme is “Connected to Safety” which is dedicated to making technology at home safe and efficient. https://bit.ly/3aLyzoY

Interested in participating in the proposed rate increase request by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania? Call us at 1-800-684-...
05/03/2021

Interested in participating in the proposed rate increase request by Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania? Call us at 1-800-684-6560 to sign-up for our mailing list and/or request a public input hearing. (https://bit.ly/3nzUQLo)

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania filed a proposed rate increase request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If approved as is, the company would recover an additional $98.3 million in operating revenues. Our office has filed a formal complaint against this proposal. To view our case intervention bulletin & learn more about how you can get involved: https://bit.ly/3mPQgs5

Have you taken advantage of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (which offers utility assistance)? Follow the link b...
05/03/2021

Have you taken advantage of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (which offers utility assistance)? Follow the link below to learn more about applying and your eligibility for the program.

If you are at risk for eviction or loss of utility service help is now available through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP.) Pennsylvanians can submit applications online at www.compass.state.pa.us
Get more information on ERAP: bit.ly/3l2c96G

Parts of PA may be seeing high winds today! If you experience a power outage, contact your utility. Don't assume they kn...
04/30/2021

Parts of PA may be seeing high winds today! If you experience a power outage, contact your utility. Don't assume they know about the outage or that others have already called. If lines are down, stay away from fallen wires or anything that is in contact with the wire such as a tree limb. #StaySafe

Parts of PA may be seeing high winds today! If you experience a power outage, contact your utility. Don't assume they know about the outage or that others have already called. If lines are down, stay away from fallen wires or anything that is in contact with the wire such as a tree limb. #StaySafe

The deadline to apply is tomorrow, April 30!
04/29/2021
Pennsylvania LIHEAP

The deadline to apply is tomorrow, April 30!

LIHEAP helps keep PA warm!

04/27/2021

Our office has filed a complaint against the proposed rate increase by PECO. (https://bit.ly/3sZkV84) Want to stay up to date on the case or request a public input hearing? Call the OCA at 1-800-684-6560.

Have you considered enrolling in paperless billing? Celebrate #EarthDay today by calling your utilities to learn more ab...
04/22/2021

Have you considered enrolling in paperless billing? Celebrate #EarthDay today by calling your utilities to learn more about making the switch!

Have you considered enrolling in paperless billing? Celebrate #EarthDay today by calling your utilities to learn more about making the switch!

ICYMI: There is still time to sign-up to participate in the UGI Utilities, Inc. public input hearings. Call (1-800-684-6...
04/21/2021

ICYMI: There is still time to sign-up to participate in the UGI Utilities, Inc. public input hearings. Call (1-800-684-6560) by Friday, April 23 at 3 pm!

#TuesdayTip Know what is below, practice safety by dialing BEFORE you dig #SafeDiggingMonth #PA811 https://www.pa1call.o...
04/20/2021

#TuesdayTip Know what is below, practice safety by dialing BEFORE you dig #SafeDiggingMonth #PA811 https://www.pa1call.org/

#TuesdayTip Know what is below, practice safety by dialing BEFORE you dig #SafeDiggingMonth #PA811 https://www.pa1call.org/

The PA OCA is hiring Assistant Consumer Advocates I, II, or III. For additional information & learn how to apply, visit:...
04/19/2021

The PA OCA is hiring Assistant Consumer Advocates I, II, or III. For additional information & learn how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/2PWCBnj

The PA OCA is hiring Assistant Consumer Advocates I, II, or III. For additional information & learn how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/2PWCBnj

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania filed a proposed rate increase request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If ...
04/19/2021

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania filed a proposed rate increase request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If approved as is, the company would recover an additional $98.3 million in operating revenues. Our office has filed a formal complaint against this proposal. To view our case intervention bulletin & learn more about how you can get involved: https://bit.ly/3mPQgs5

Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania filed a proposed rate increase request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. If approved as is, the company would recover an additional $98.3 million in operating revenues. Our office has filed a formal complaint against this proposal. To view our case intervention bulletin & learn more about how you can get involved: https://bit.ly/3mPQgs5

04/15/2021

The PUC will hold a telephonic public meeting on Thursday, April 15 at 10 AM. Interested parties can listen to the meeting by calling 1-888-917-8050, & then entering passcode 9570961# beginning at 9:45 AM. Agenda:https://www.puc.pa.gov/media/1462/pm041521.pdf

#TuesdayTip Have an ongoing digging project you are looking to check on? PA 811 has developed a new app that allows for ...
04/13/2021

#TuesdayTip Have an ongoing digging project you are looking to check on? PA 811 has developed a new app that allows for planning and project coordination inside PA. Check out the video below for additional information! #SafeDigging #Dial811

Imagine a web service application that integrates with Pennsylvania 811's Web Ticket Entry process to create design and excavation notifications and allows you to manage your notifications and responses from facility owners in one application.

Pennsylvania 811 has developed this powerful application to support project planning and utility coordination within Pennsylvania. You can learn how Coordinate PA can help you with your digging projects by watching a quick video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtmDprNhiOo

If you'd like to see a detailed overview of Coordinate PA, register today for our Virtual Safety Day on April 21st at www.pa1call.org. Follow Training Track 1 to see its current full potential.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission scheduled telephonic public input hearings regarding the proposed electric ra...
04/12/2021

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission scheduled telephonic public input hearings regarding the proposed electric rate increase request of UGI Utilities, Inc.. Telephonic hearings will be held on April 28, 2021 at 1:00 p.m. & 6:00 p.m. To participate, register by 3:00 p.m. on April 23, 2021 by calling 1-800-684-6560.

Are you at risk of being terminated? The PA OCA suggests contacting your utility company ASAP to discuss possible paymen...
04/08/2021

Are you at risk of being terminated? The PA OCA suggests contacting your utility company ASAP to discuss possible payment arrangements and assistance opportunities that may be available to your household.

Terminations for utilities under Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission jurisdiction may resume on April 1. This means regardless of household income, service may be terminated. Customers behind on their bills should contact their utility ASAP to discuss possible payment arrangements and assistance options.

04/07/2021

On March 30, PECO filed a request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission for a $246 million increase in electric distribution rates. Our office is reviewing this request and will file a formal complaint against this proposed rate increase. Stay tuned for more information.

ATTENTION: The deadline to apply for assistance through LIHEAP has been extended through Friday, April 30! For additiona...
04/07/2021

ATTENTION: The deadline to apply for assistance through LIHEAP has been extended through Friday, April 30! For additional information & to learn how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3mghqIA

Are you eligible for assistance through LIHEAP? This program is designed to assist families with paying their heating bills during cold weather months? For more information & to learn how to apply, visit: https://bit.ly/3sGgwqD.

#TuesdayTip DYK April is #SafeDiggingMonth? No matter how big or small a project, ALWAYS call before you dig! Dial 8-1-1...
04/06/2021

#TuesdayTip DYK April is #SafeDiggingMonth? No matter how big or small a project, ALWAYS call before you dig! Dial 8-1-1. Submit your request for a project: https://www.pa1call.org/

#TuesdayTip DYK April is #SafeDiggingMonth? No matter how big or small a project, ALWAYS call before you dig! Dial 8-1-1. Submit your request for a project: https://www.pa1call.org/

Address

555 Walnut Street
Harrisburg, PA
17101

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

Telephone

(800) 684-6560

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WATCH OUT FOR WALMART.COM!!! WALMART.COM REFUSES TO RETURN MY MONEY TO PAYPAL....A LONG UNFINISHED STORY... i wish you would read it...maybe you or someone you know can help resolve it. Friends and Anyone Else, First, WARNING: do not buy anything of value from Walmart.com. If there is any complication, you may have to go thru hell just to never get your money refunded. Walmart.com is run separately from the stores. This complaint is not about a store.... it is SPECIFICALLY ABOUT WALMART.COM. THOUGH STORE 5200 PROBABLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE PROBLEM IN SOME ADMITTEDLY UNKNOWN WAY. Further, when you need help with Walmart.com purchases you have to communicate with people who are a bit hard to understand. (Apparently, Walmart.com has "off-shored" their customer service. ) The people I have communicated with via email or phone can only handle one aspect of a problem. What they mean to say about the problem in the emails is not always clear. You do not get a person who will look at ALL the evidence and follow-up. You are always dealing with a different person. They owe me about $56 for a defective shaver I returned. Here's the story. On February 27, 2019, I bought online at Walmart.com a shaver (retail $59.97) and a 3-year protection coverage ($7.00) for the shaver. This came to $64.22 because i have to pay Pennsylvania sales tax and then I had a 10% off coupon. A defective shaver was sent to us. I had numerous email chats with employees at Walmart.com. I kept copies of the emails. I could never get an assurance they would send me a replacement, then they were going to send a return shipping label, which i did ultimately get, then they repeatedly asked me if I wanted a replacement,and I said I did! Finally, it turns out they ended up making 3 orders to send me a replacement. (Obviously, one rep there does not check on what another one has don.) I was very unsure about dealing with the Walmart.com people any further so I decided to return the shaver to the store. On March 22, 2019 I returned it to Store 5200 on the Fruitville Pike, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to the Returns counter at the store. Actually, that wasn't easy either. It took three clerical staff almost an hour to finally process the return. Finally, I gave them the defective shaver and the shipping label and they wanted it to be over. I insisted that I wanted proof that I returned the shaver to the store in case Walmart.com said it was never returned..... which they did finally give me. They gave me a very little piece of paper called "Return to Claims Slip" and subtitled "Returned Entry". It was a little piece of that thermal paper (the kind that ink fades) printed with the shaver name and model, store number, some codes i do not know, the list price for the shaver 59.97 and two lines -- one said Refund with hyphens after it and one said Exchange with hyphens after it. There was NO indication that I received any refund or an exchange in that transaction. About a month after this I phoned Walmart.com. The first fellow, "Vince" cancelled an order which Walmart.com set up and then hung up on me. The second fellow, "Chris" tried to be more helpful. Chris did a reorder of the shaver, gave me an $8.95 credit and I paid for a replacement shaver with my Paypal account. I don't think we made any progress with the refund problem but I was glad to complete a real reorder. (That replacement came, the package looks good, but I think my husband is afraid to open it and use it now that we have have this "nightmare" with Walmart.com) A day or so later, I called Walmart.com again because I still want my $64.22 to be returned. I spoke to "Charlie" who after reviewing everything, mentioning the return "receipt" that Store 5200 gave me. "Charlie" said that Walmart.com had no record of receiving the shaver back and that I should email a copy of the receipt to Walmart.com. I did that immediately. Some hours later, I received an email informing me that Walmart.com was returning (only) $7.42 to my Paypal account. I was and still am pretty angry about this extended brouhaha. I reminded them of the difference still owed to me and that if I didn't get the rest of my money back I would complain to the Better Business Bureau or a government agency. No response from Walmart.com. The next day I came to the conclusion that they think the "Return to Claims Slip" means I received $59.97 back. So I emailed them back with sequential details and now requesting $64.22 minus $7.42 or $56.80 to be returned to my Paypal account. No response from Walmart.com. This is where it's at. I feel like I owe a duty to everyone to know about Walmart.com's and Walmart's practices. There is a certain wry humor in reliving and reading this account. You can be sure that I will pursue other avenues. Not sure that the BBB would deal with an international company like Walmart.com so I may have to contact the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office. If you read this far, thanks and wish me luck. $56 isn't much money in today's world but I sure can use it!
Concerns over Rivercrest water owned by Aqua. We have live here 42 years. 10 years ago my husband developed renal cell carcinoma. Since then I found out 3 other people developed it within a few houses of us. Our dog passed away of kidney failure. I just found out a neighbors dog passed of kidney cancer. This is frightening!
My husband and I are seniors, both with heart conditions. When we bought our appliances from Sears 9 years ago, we also purchased a Warranty Protection Agreement. It covers ten major appliances and we have paid thousands of dollars for the supposed "peace of mind." Our central air-conditioning broke in early June, 2017. A call to Sears required a two-week wait for a technician during a heat wave. He said we needed a new compressor, a two-man job. An additional two and a half week wait through another heat wave (89 degrees in the house) brought the installation of the new compressor. It worked for ten days. Another call to Sears told us it would be a 3 week wait for someone to come and "check" it. They offered us Shop Your Way points for a room air conditioner - we had to pay for installation and delivery. Now at least we can sleep. They also suggested we hire an alternate service provider to come and troubleshoot - we did (two different ones) and the Sears PABA supervisor would not approve the repairs needed, each estimated at close to $5000. We had to pay the providers $409 and $412 respectively - each was kept on the phone by Sears for more than an hour trying to explain and get approval for the repairs, only to be declined. Neither will come back. So now we wait through the latest heat wave, with the news telling elderly people to stay inside in air-conditioning, for August and Sears just to "see" what the problem is. No doubt we will wait some more after they decide what to do. I have made 21 phone calls, mostly to foreign help desk people who say "We understand but we cannot get there until August." When I ask to speak to a supervisor they often hang up and when I call back, I have to start all over again because "Sean"or "Mary" is not reachable. Our Extended Warranty Protection plan has cost us enough to have purchased a new system. I am planning to post this on every website I can find and will contact our local ABC affiliate.