Skip to main content

Utilities

Legal Information
Woman reading paper.

This section of PALawHelp.org has information and resources about Utility issues in Pennsylvania.

Click on a resource category listed below to see information related to that category.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission - Formal Complaint Process

Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission regarding it's formal complaint process. The formal complaint process involves a legal proceeding where you and the utility must present facts on issues raised in your complaint to a PUC administrative law judge. The process can take six months or more until a complaint is adjudicated. Individuals or companies may file formal complaints. Individuals are not required to have a lawyer to file a formal complaint. However, companies must be represented by an attorney.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission - Informal Complaints

Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to assist consumers in resolving complaints with utility companies under the PUC’s authority. When an informal complaint is filed through the Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS), a BCS investigator works to facilitate discussion between the parties to resolve the complaint. This process is much less time-consuming than the formal complaint process and usually results in a faster resolution to the case. Informal complaints against utilities are confidential and not available for public inspection.

PUC Complaints

Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on filing complaints with the Public Utility Commission.

LIHEAP Benefit Amount Table

This tool from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services allows you to see the amount of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits you are eligible to receive. Select the county where you live and the type of fuel you use to heat your home or a type you to use for additional heat. The benefit table for your county and the type of fuel you use is displayed listing the LIHEAP benefit amount for your yearly income range and household size.

How to File a Show Cause Order in Cambria and Indiana Counties (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services shows how residents of Cambria and Indiana Counties can file a show cause order when a landlord shuts off your utilities to try and evict you.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission - Formal Complaint Process

Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission regarding it's formal complaint process. The formal complaint process involves a legal proceeding where you and the utility must present facts on issues raised in your complaint to a PUC administrative law judge. The process can take six months or more until a complaint is adjudicated. Individuals or companies may file formal complaints. Individuals are not required to have a lawyer to file a formal complaint. However, companies must be represented by an attorney.

Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission - Informal Complaints

Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to assist consumers in resolving complaints with utility companies under the PUC’s authority. When an informal complaint is filed through the Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS), a BCS investigator works to facilitate discussion between the parties to resolve the complaint. This process is much less time-consuming than the formal complaint process and usually results in a faster resolution to the case. Informal complaints against utilities are confidential and not available for public inspection.

PUC Complaints

Information from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on filing complaints with the Public Utility Commission.

LIHEAP Benefit Amount Table

This tool from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services allows you to see the amount of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) benefits you are eligible to receive. Select the county where you live and the type of fuel you use to heat your home or a type you to use for additional heat. The benefit table for your county and the type of fuel you use is displayed listing the LIHEAP benefit amount for your yearly income range and household size.

Federal Court Finder

Find a federal court location by location or court name, including appellate, district, bankruptcy, probation and pretrial office, or federal defender organization. Each District Court has its own local forms which are generally available on the Court website.

How to File a Show Cause Order in Cambria and Indiana Counties (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services shows how residents of Cambria and Indiana Counties can file a show cause order when a landlord shuts off your utilities to try and evict you.

COMPASS - Apply for Public Benefits and Services from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents can apply for a variety of programs offered by the PA Department of Human Services, including public assistance, food stamps, health care coverage, energy assistance and other social service programs at this site

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 included funding for states to establish Emergency Rental Assistance Programs (ERAP). ERAP is now taking applications. ERAP helps tenant households with paying rent, past-due rent balances (also known as arrears), utility and home energy costs, utility and home energy cost arrears, and other expenses related to housing.

Heating Assistance/LIHEAP

Information from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services regarding the Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) program in Pennsylvania, how to apply, program dates, as well as the income limits for this program.

Lifeline: Affordable Telephone Service for Income-Eligible Subscribers

Lifeline is a government benefit program that provides a discount on monthly telephone service for eligible low-income subscribers to help ensure they can connect to the nation's communications networks, find jobs, access health care services, connect with family and their children's schools, and call for help in an emergency. Lifeline is supported by the federal Universal Service Fund (USF).

Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Consumer Publications from the Public Utility Commission

Many publications from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

GetInternet.gov

This website provides a a simple, easy-to-use one-stop resource with details on how you can sign up for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACF), which provides a subsidy for broadband internet service, and find participating internet providers who will provide broadband service in their area for a cost equal to the ACF subsidy, resulting in no cost to the consumer.

PA Power Switch

PAPowerSwitch.com from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) provides information to make sure you have the tools at your fingertips to make an informed decision when selecting an electric supplier.

Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate

The Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) is a state agency that represents the interests of Pennsylvania utility consumers before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), federal regulatory agencies, and state and federal courts. The OCA was created by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in 1976 and is an independent office within the Office of Attorney General.

Responsible Utility Customer Protection Act

This new law changed rules that apply to cash deposits; re-connection of service; termination of service; payment arrangements; and the filing of termination complaints by consumers for electric, gas and water. This fact sheet from the PA Public Utility Commission is designed to provide you with very important information regarding how the new Act affects you and your utility service. [PDF] (January 2020)

Free Safelink Wireless Phone and Plan for Low-income Pennsylvanians

SafeLink Wireless provides a free wireless phone and cellular plan for qualifying Pennsylvanians through the Lifeline government benefit program. Services are available in many, but not all, areas of Pennsylvania. Household income at or below 135% of FPG.

How to File a Show Cause Order in Cambria and Indiana Counties (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services shows how residents of Cambria and Indiana Counties can file a show cause order when a landlord shuts off your utilities to try and evict you.

How to File a Show Cause Order in Cambria and Indiana Counties (Video)

This video from Laurel Legal Services shows how residents of Cambria and Indiana Counties can file a show cause order when a landlord shuts off your utilities to try and evict you.

Utility Assistance for those Affected by the Corona Virus

The Pennsylvania Utility Law Project provides utility assistance information for renters and homeowners in Pennsylvania affected by COVID-19.

Emergency Rental Assistance Program

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 included funding for states to establish Emergency Rental Assistance Programs (ERAP). ERAP is now taking applications. ERAP helps tenant households with paying rent, past-due rent balances (also known as arrears), utility and home energy costs, utility and home energy cost arrears, and other expenses related to housing.

Utility Shutoffs & Help During COVID-19

Information on your rights under new COVID-19 rules for electric, natural gas, water, wastewater, telecommunication & steam utilities.

Affordable Connectivity Program

The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more. The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price. The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

GetInternet.gov

This website provides a a simple, easy-to-use one-stop resource with details on how you can sign up for Affordable Connectivity Program (ACF), which provides a subsidy for broadband internet service, and find participating internet providers who will provide broadband service in their area for a cost equal to the ACF subsidy, resulting in no cost to the consumer.

Back to top