By Tony Romeo
HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) – Following a brutal winter during which some electric customers with variable rate plans were slammed with increases of double or more, a state House committee has given initial approval to a bill that would put a cap on variable rates for residential customers.
The bill is sponsored by Montgomery County Republican Robert Godshall, who is also chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, which approved the measure. Godshall’s bill would cap variable electric rate increases for residential customers at 30-percent per billing cycle.
He says that 30-percent figure is a compromise because some folks think variable rates for residential customers should simply be abolished.
“And I’m not too sure that that wasn’t the way to go. Because people are used to getting their electric bill, they’re not used to studying it,” he said. “They don’t sit there and watch the electric rates on a daily basis.”
Godshall’s bill would also require that customer requests to switch suppliers, which currently can take as many as two billing cycles, be completed within five business days. It also requires customer contracts to contain language clearly explaining all terms.