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Pa. Commissioner Disagrees

Fortnightly Magazine - May 15 1997

According to Robert Bloom, a commissioner at the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer regarding the release of the 1996 report card on Pennsylvania utilities contained "misinformation" and was "distorted."

That article reported the PUC refused to issue the 1996 report card because the commissioners disagreed on the amount of performance information that should be released in the new competitive environment (see "Headlines," FORTNIGHTLY, 3/15/97).

Bloom clarified that the "performance information" consisted of information on the number of customer complaints received by utilities. He said the PUC is supposed to give a report based on complaints, but the utilities attempt to turn that information into a performance review, which Bloom believes should not occur.

Bloom pointed out that the complaints are from less than one-half of 1 percent of utilities' customer bases. Yet based on those numbers, some utilities claim the title of the "best," which he does not want utilities to do. He said that in a competitive environment it is inappropriate for the PUC to designate a utility as the best. (em LB

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