Jun. 25, 2019
HARRISBURG – The state Senate today approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie) that would enact several changes to state law to empower utilities to better serve their customers.
“This is commonsense legislation to update Pennsylvania’s public utility laws,” Roae said. “We want to help consumers by empowering utilities to provide better service.”
Current law requires utilities and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to communicate through registered or certified mail in certain instances involving lawsuits. Roae’s bill would allow them to communicate through email as long as both parties agreed to it.
“Requiring utility companies and regulators to send thousands of documents through the mail is time consuming and expensive,” Roae said. “It costs money, and ratepayers wind up paying for it one way or another. Empowering utilities to communicate through email is a commonsense change in this day and age.”
Roae’s bill also would reform the way water and sewer utilities’ income tax liability is calculated to bring it in line with the way electric and natural gas utilities are taxed. The tax change specifically relates to a provision affecting water and sewer utilities when they extend service to a new area.
Roae’s bill also would update the legal definition of a service line to include water and sewer lines.
“Pennsylvanians rely on utilities for a variety of services, and those utilities function based on the laws that I am working with my colleagues to update and reform,” Roae said. “Our focus is on creating a system that works with utilities to serve their customers.”
Roae’s House Bill 751
previously was approved by the House, so it now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
“I hope the governor will move swiftly to sign this important utility reform bill into law,” Roae said.
Residents can learn more about Roae by visiting his website at RepRoae.com
and following him on Facebook at Facebook.com/RepRoae
Representative Brad Roae
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Dan Massing