Monthly Archives: October 2009

Virgin Mobile Latest to Offer Lifeline in New York, but Will its Customers Be Protected?

On October 29, 2009, the FCC issued an order approving Virgin Mobile USA’s compliance plan , which was submitted as a condition of its designation as a “Lifeline-only” eligible telecommunications carrier (“ETC”) in its licensed service areas in New York, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Virgin Mobile now joins Verizon Wireless, Sprint , and TracFone Read more…

Pin It

Hazel Towers Tenants Association Seeks Review of PSC Submetering Decision

We previously reported on the saga of the Hazel Towers Tenants Association complaints to the PSC regarding submetered electric service. See, e.g., Hazel Towers Tenants to Receive $20,000 Credits of Landlord’s Overcharges for Submetered Electric Service, PULP Network, August 26, 2009; Hazel Towers Tenants File Reply to Owner’s Request to Dismiss Petition Seeking to Halt Read more…

Pin It

Pennsylvania Regulators Halt Expensive "Smart Meter" Plan

In a wide ranging overhaul of laws affecting electric utilities and their duties in a “restructured” system that allowed utilities to form holding companies, sell off power plants, and rely on markets to buy electricity for customers, the Pennsylvania legislature enacted “Act 129“, signed by Gov. Ed Rendell on October 15, 2008. Among other things, Read more…

Pin It

Consumer Uprising Against California Smart Meter Program

BackgroundThe latest utility fad is large capital investments for massive deployment of so-called “smart meters” in residential homes. The “smart meter” hype is coming from utilities, marketeers, and some greens, but it is not something consumers are seeking. Indeed, any consumer who wants to pay different rates based on when they use electicity can do Read more…

Pin It

Illinois Governor Appoints Community Action Leader to Illinois Commerce Commission

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has announced the appointment of John Colgan, a leader of the Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies, to the Illinois Commerce Commission (“ICC”). According to Governor Quinn’s Press Release Colgan has more than thirty years experience in community organizing and administration, serving for 12 years as founding executive director of the Read more…

Pin It

Telephone Lifeline for Residents of Homeless Shelters

On July 17, 2009, TracFone Wireless sent a letter to the FCC raising an interesting question: Since the FCC’s Rules specifically limit Lifeline discount telephone service to “one-per-household,” how can residents of homeless shelters receive Lifeline? This may not have been an issue when Lifeline was only offered by traditional landline telephone companies, but now Read more…

Pin It

City Water Customers Need HEFPA Protections

Section 50 of the New York Public Service Law extended the protection of the Home Energy Fair Practices Act (“HEFPA”) to residential water customers, but omitted a major portion of them — those whose water comes from a municipality or public authority. Many of the major cities in the state own and operate their own Read more…

Pin It

OTDA Implements Amendment Easing Repayment Terms for Emergency Utility Assistance

We have previously discussed the erosion of the public assistance safety net created by the legislature under Section 131-s of the New York Social Services Law for utility customers facing service termination. See OTDA Must Relax Its Administrative Restriction on Utility Assistance Loans for Persons with Incomes Above the Public Assistance Level, PULP Network, July Read more…

Pin It