HARRISBURG – To reduce ratepayers’ costs and offer public utilities flexibility, the PA Senate Consumer Affairs & Professional Licensure Committee approved legislation which would enable a public utility to petition the PA Public Utility Commission for relief from a law, regulation or policy statement under the PUC’s jurisdiction if the utility can show it will reduce costs for ratepayers and operate in a more efficient and effective manner. Under Senate Bill 1174, the utility must provide supporting data and information to the PUC explaining the benefit obtained from the waiver and how it will save costs or avoid future ratepayer impacts. The request must also include an evaluation procedure to determine the effectiveness of the waiver or program that will be instituted due to the waiver. It should also indicate how safety and reliability standards will be maintained or exceeded. The bill now heads to the full state Senate.