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PUC Seeking Comments On Low-Income Residential Energy Efficiency Program Rules

The Public Utility Commission published a notice in the December 31 PA Bulletin formally announcing a Secretarial Letter seeking stakeholder input on the PUC’s Low-Income Usage Reduction Program to reduce electric and natural gas use in low-income households. 

PUC regulations require electric and natural gas distribution companies to have LIURP Programs to provide low-income households with weatherization programs.  These regulations have not been updated since 1993.

The Commission is asking stakeholder to provide information to respond to these questions--

1. Are the existing regulations meeting the charge in 52 Pa. Code § 58.1? If not, what changes should be made?

2. How should LIURPs be structured to maximize coordination with other weatherization programs such as DCED's WAP and Act 129 programs?

3. How can utilities ensure that they are reaching all demographics of the eligible populations in their service territories?

4. What design would better assist/encourage all low-income customers to conserve energy to reduce their residential energy bills and decrease the incidence and risk of payment delinquencies? How does energy education play a role in behavior change?

5. How can the utilities to use their LIURPs to better address costs associated with uncollectible accounts expense, collection costs, and arrearage carrying costs?

6. How can LIURPs best provide for increased health, safety, and comfort levels for participants?

7. How can LIURPs maximize participation and avoid disqualifications of households due to factors such housing stock conditions?

8. What is the appropriate percentage of federal poverty income level to determine eligibility for LIURP?

9. With the additional energy burdens associated with warm weather, what if any changes are necessary to place a greater emphasis on cooling needs?

10. What are options to better serve renters, encourage landlord participation, and reach residents of multifamily housing?

11. Should the requirements regarding a needs assessment in developing LIURP budgets, as outlined at 52 Pa. Code § 58.4(c), be updated to provide a calculation methodology uniform across all utilities? If so, provide possible methodologies.

12. Should the interplay between CAPs and LIURPs be addressed within the context of LIURP regulations? If so, how?

13. Are there specific ''best practices'' that would better serve the LIURP objectives which should be standardized across all the utilities? If so, what are they? For example, is there a more optimal and cost effective method(s) of procuring energy efficiency services so as to maximize energy savings at lower unit costs?

14. The Commission also welcomes stakeholder input on other LIURP issues or topics.

Click Here for an overview of the PUC’s Low-Income Usage Reduction Program.

The PA Bulletin notice provides information on how to submit comments.  Comments are due January 30.


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