PECO increases electricity terminations

    PECO energy’s electricity terminations are up more than 100 percent from last year.

    PECO energy’s electricity terminations are up more than 100 percent from last year. The company says it’s trying to prevent delinquent customers from amassing large bills before the winter sets in. But consumer advocates say low income rate payers are suffering.

    Listen:
    [audio: 090707sppeco.mp3]

    PECO officials say they’ve begun terminations earlier this year as a way to help customers. Spokeswoman Cathy Engel says the company has done more this year to enroll customers in the federal aid program LIHEAP.

    Engel: I think that aggressive outreach really has helped us make sure that customers that may be struggling and customers that need our help are getting all the help they need from us.

    As a result Engel says the dollar amount of LIHEAP grants has more than doubled. But advocates say terminations for low income customers has also doubled. Lance Haver is Philadelphia’s Consumer Advocate.

    This is the wrong time for PECO to change their enforcement policy. We are in the worst depression our country has ever seen. Haver says PECO should be petitioning the state Public Utilities Commission if it needs help with delinquent accounts.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.