Pennsylvania utility company ordered to refund millions to overcharged customers

Kristen Walters

Many Pennsylvania residents who were baffled by outrageous charges on their utility bills last month may be getting a refund.

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Last week we reported that many Pennsylvania residents were shocked when they received mysterious charges on their gas utility bills for a "weather normalization adjustment."

Some people, like Cortney DeMuth, told reporters that were gas bill for May was $233, more than four times as high as the previous month.

Even though many people who received these additional charges called their gas company in protest, they were told they had to pay or risk having their gas shut off. As a result, Pennsylvania gas customers paid millions in additional charges last month.

However, a recent Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission order required the PGW utility company to pay back the additional charges to residents. The charge reversal will likely be issued as a credit on the customer's gas bill, which will then be applied to future gas charges.

While the gas company still maintains that the charges were "appropriate and correct," the Pennsylvania Utility Commission did not think they were fair to residents, especially since some like Elise Ridley were charged over $235 for gas when she lived in a small studio apartment.

It just didn't make sense.

Adding confusion to the mix was the fact that people living in the same neighborhood or on the same street were charged drastically different amounts for the weather normalization adjustment.

Some were charged several hundred dollars more than their regular bill, while others were only charged a few cents.

While we are happy to hear that the charges are being reversed, this situation put many Pennsylvania residents already living on tight budgets in a hard spot. Having a surprise $200 expense can be devastating when you are on a fixed income or living paycheck to paycheck.

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