Friday, September 05, 2008

PULP Manual Update: Rights of Residential Utility Customers Under the Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA)

PULP has updated the chapter of its Law Manual for New York utility consumer advocates on the Rights of Residential Customers under the Home Energy Fair Practices Act (HEFPA). The update includes revisions dealing with Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) and the Energy Consumer Protection Act of 2002.

HEFPA is a bulwark of protection against arbitrary and unreasonable utility practices. It declares the New York State policy of continuous residential utility service, and implements that policy with many measures designed to foster prompt provision of service to applicants without unreasonable conditions, and continued service to customers. Enacted in 1981 at the urging of PULP and community groups, HEFPA has saved many lives and prevented serious hardships to consumers.

As we move into a particularly costly winter season for utility customers, better awareness of HEFPA protections, assertion of customer rights, compliance by utilities, and vigilant enforcement by the Public Service Commission will all be needed. See Trouble Ahead, Outlook for Home Heating Costs Worsens.

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