PITTSBURGH (KDKA)– The Public Utility Commission announced a new policy that will change the electric and natural gas affordability for poverty-stricken Pa. residents.

Our partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, reported that the commission recently “approved a new policy directing utilities to make sure low-income customers spend no more than 10% of their income on gas and light bills.”

After two years of research, the staff concluded that customers making below 50% of the federal poverty line see more of their income poured into energy bills than any other income bracket.

This is below $6,245 for one person or $12,875 for a family of four. Since 1992, regulators.

The new policy will make sure utility regulators do not charge low-income customers more than 10% of their income on gas and light bills.

Patrick Cicero, executive director of the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project, told the Post-Gazette that, “We think these are substantial improvements. For households who don’t have any money, this is going to allow them to remain connected to service.”

The Post-Gazette reported that Peoples Natural Gas, already aligns with the policy, according to Rita Black, its director of customer relations, but there are other companies that have mixed reactions about the assistance program.

“We cannot simply open the ratepayers’ checkbook to pay others’ bills,” said Commissioner Norman Kennard, who dissented from the vote.