AG Kane Discusses Investigation into High Electric Bills

MOOSIC – Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane said people who’ve seen their electric bills spike this winter, may be victims of unlawful activity.

She said her office received more than 2,000 complaints since she announced an investigation to determine if several secondary energy suppliers broke any laws when they billed customers at soaring rates.

“If it’s an egregious spike, if it’s something outside the norm, that`s when we have to step in,” said the Attorney General.  “We are on a fact-finding mission.”

The secondary electric company generating the most complaints is Pennsylvania Gas and Electric which is a subsidiary of Miami-based US Gas and Electric.

Company president Doug Marcille said it is the combination of high energy use, and sustained cold temperature led to the spike in prices.

Marcille adds his company is not worried about the attorney general’s investigation.

“We are very sympathetic to our customer’s situation,” said Marcille. “But we in no way, shape, or form feel that we misrepresented our products, our company or our value proposition.”

But Kane said several energy suppliers may have crossed the line.

Governor Corbett declared a state of emergency because of cold weather February 5. And just days later, many of these companies, sent their customers these sky-high electric bills.

“And we want to make sure people aren`t being price gouged. Our money has to be spent in the right manner, and we won`t allow companies to do anything improper,” said the Attorney General.

26 comments

  • Karl Rucker

    I called PPL to drop Stream Energy. They said call Stream and they will drop you and you will default back to PPL. PPL adjust their rates every 3 months but by law they can not make a profit on that part of your bill. Stream said it takes 1 to 2 meter reads for PPL to change.PPL said it defaults back next month. Between Corbitt and the GOP agenda this is another way to screw the middle class. Wake up people guns and religion is why dopes vote for them.

  • yolanda smith

    charges fro Ethical Elec from jan & feb 361.98 ct. this triple from 42.45. Please dave help me something is wrong w/ co. trying to rip me off can afford pay this blil i leave fix income.

  • ackermari

    Would help if everyone posted not only the change in the total bill $$, but also the change in total KWH used. Feb 554 kwh $80.66; Jan 577 kwh $83.41; Dec 514kwh $75.21. My total bill went up, but my usage also went up.

  • Barry

    My electric bill was 1700.00 this billing. 700.00 last month. For two people , 3 bedrooms one bathroom. Both working all day. Good luck working with PPL. They will just send someone out to tell you how it’s all your fault and keeping your house at 66 degrees is too hot. They have a stranglehold on all of us and I hope the AG slams it to them

  • Ron

    Heads up people ppl plus is offering a very good fixed rate thru December 2015. 1-888-289-7693. Never go with a fixed or introductory rate.

    • ackermari

      You don’t make sense. You’re telling us that PPL is offering a very good fixed rate, then saying to never go with a fixed rate. WTF…. SMH…..

  • Ron

    My bill doubled, I was with American power partners. I will never go with a variable rate again. What if your bank would double your variable rate? I think it’s a shame this practice can happen. There are a lot of people just getting by this winter they surely did’t need these people taking advantage of them!

  • Steve

    My in-law has 2 power meters on his property. One on the house supplied by Penn Gas&Electric, the other to the barn supplied by Constellation. They both use the same power lines yet the Penn meter increased by 2.5x to over $700 this month. Dumping Penn Gas on Monday

  • Rebecca

    I just received an advertisement from Clean Energy Option in today’s mail. The front of the envelope says “PPL Customer Notification”. The letter says that I now have the option to have all my electricity come from renewable resources like solar and wind, and all I have to do is sign the letter and return it.

    The rate schedule is on the back. It’s a fixed rate of 10.354 cents per kWh, then variable after 3 months.

    I get several of these letters a week, plus numerous phone calls.

    I’m not switching from PPL. I have a fixed rate with them, and yes, my bill went up slightly this winter, but the furnace ran more and I used the quartz heater as well, so I used more kWh’s. And by slightly, I mean about $20 more than normal.

    I hope the state looks into capping variable rates. It looks like companies are crawling out of the woodwork to take advantage of the citizens here.

  • Jane

    My electric bill in January was $119.58 and in February it was $431.25. (Those two amounts don’t include the distribution costs.) I have PA Gas & Electric as my electric supplier. I live with my 2 cats in a small 5 room apartment and conservatively heat only 2 rooms – my bedroom and my living room. I live on a very fixed income since I am unemployed and was not eligible for LIHEAP this year. If I hadn’t been sitting down when I opened that bill, I probably would have fallen onto the floor. This is the highest electric bill I have ever received since I moved into this apartment in 2003. OUTRAGEOUS!!!!

  • tom speaker

    why is the transmission line fee vary with the amount of electricity used that should be a fixed fee the lines on the street and to your home doesn’ t change. when the transmission cost is half of your energy bill something is wrong.

  • Fred McNeely

    I need to get more info about this. My mom called me crying because her electric bill came in this month at $1,753.81!!! She is 84 and lives alone and there is no way her bill should be that high! She has PPL and IDT Energy. Not only do i think they are price gouging but they are taking advantage of the ederly who are not able or capable of fighting back. Please help!

    • marbs

      IDT is the worst. Most people would have been better off just staying with PP&L or their sister company PPL Energy plus. I went to the energy plus link from PP&L and ll the power suppliers terms are spelled out very clearly, they even have the variable rate options highlighted in RED. Sure I could have saved maybe 5 bucks a month and gotten that great visa gift card but by staying with PPL Energy Plus my bill was a few bucks more than last year with electric heat but it was also much colder this year. My cost per kwh stayed the same. Be careful read the entire agreement and switch your Mom to a fixed rate supplier and watch the term and what happens at the end. You can also just switch back to PP&L at least they are controlled by the PUC alternate suppliers are not.

  • Melinda Tokarz

    Great American Power out of Georgia doubled 15.7 per KWH in Jan which I did not catch it and quadrupled my electric bill for Feb charging 27.8 a KWH for a $672.00 for a bill that would normally be $179.00. I switched on Feb 26 but I will have another bill from them and service will continue until March 18 so god knows what the next month bill will be. When I went to the PASwitch website and joined them Aug 13 their advertising said fixed rate for 6 months to find out their advertising was for 1 month fixed with a variable rate other months in the very fine print. It said save join us. If this is not deceptive. I am not sure what is.

    Tried to call them and they do not answer their phones. I got an answering machine always. I finally got through on email and the ceo wrote this is what I signed up for. I wrote back to close the account. I feel Great American Power priced gouged and I hope the attorney General can do something about it and give us back what they scammed off of us.

    Be very careful to read all your information so you do not fall in the same trap. Never get a variable rate no matter what. Read everything.

  • Jeff

    Might want to look at home heating oil next! When I bought my house it was $0.69 cents a gallon. it is $4.00 a gallon now.

    • mdog

      In order for fracking to be profitable oil had to spike dramatically.
      Like magic it did. We continue to be mugged on that one.
      Yes sir don’t think i will ever afford both tanks full again.
      Its a matter of time before most us are eaten by the system.
      PA. at one time had the purest water in the world.
      Nothing is sacred anymore, not a dang thing.

  • gerry

    the price of electricity doesnt double or triple in the summer when the temperature hits into the ninties and air conditoners are pounding away to cool us down. why does the price to heat a home in the winter has to be so high? power plants dont shut down. they run 24-7-365.

    • milton begezus

      you, as well as half teh posters don’t have a goddamn clue. Plants shut down and trip off all the time. We almost had blackouts during the polar vortex in january. Stay with fixed rates or suffer the consequences. Dont get pulled in by teaser rates, like the sub mortgages, which almost destroyed our country.

  • Linda L

    I live in Clinton County and have West Penn. We get a lot of call’s wanting us to switch. No way. Live in a old farm house and very happy with West Penn. I wonder if you would say anything if you have cheap bill’s in the summer. Sound’s to good to be true It Is.

  • Mike

    About 3 weeks ago, my electric bill came in the mail…$1525.55. Well over triple what my standard electric bill is. If that’s not Price Gouging I’m not sure what is.

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