Commission denies further public input on utility shutoff moratorium

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A petition filed by community groups, including some in Philadelphia, to have greater involvement in the future when it comes to the public utility termination process has been denied in a 3-1 procedural vote.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission said that does not change the moratorium on utility shutoffs, which was enacted by the governor at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The commission took action on a very narrow issue,” said Nils Frederiksen, press secretary for PUC. “It focused on a petition that had been filed by a number of advocacy groups who were seeking a public review process before the commission considers any modifications to the current moratorium on utility terminations.”

He said there’s been extensive public comment on this from various stakeholders.

“As emphasized by the chairman and others today, various parties have already offered extensive comment about the moratorium, so today’s vote dismissed that petition. But today’s vote did nothing to change the underlying moratorium. That remains in place. It remains in place like it has since the commission first took it up in March.”

Unless, he added, the commission decides to take further action.