PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In response to a KDKA-TV report last Monday and complaints filed by nearly 800 ratepayers, the Public Utility Commission voted unanimously on Thursday to open an investigation of the doubling, tripling and quadrupling of rates by certain electricity suppliers.
“In that process, we’ll be looking at the disclosure statements and ways in which we can highlight the terms and conditions of those agreements so consumers can understand them,” said PUC Vice Chairman John Coleman.
Jenette and Adam Johnson are among the hundreds of victims of what some see as bait and switch.
Without notice, their electricity supplier – IDT Energy — tripled their bill.
“A $739 bill,” said Jenette.
“I switched to IDT, everything was good for close to two years, and then we got this bill,” added Adam.
They’re not alone.
Since our story on Monday, we’ve heard from many others whose electricity bills have skyrocketed by IDT and other electricity suppliers.
The PUC says they want these electric supply companies to explain why they have raised rates so dramatically and how they are disclosing to consumers their intention to raise rates to customers.
KDKA’s Jon Delano also learned that the PUC is seeking legal advice on whether they can put a cap on how high these variable rates can go.
Another complaint — once a customer finds out they’re getting burned, it can take a month to switch back to a lower priced supplier. The PUC is looking into that, too.
“We’re looking at how we might expedite that process and get those meter reads in a more efficient way so consumers can switch a little bit more effectively,” said Coleman.