State Government

New PSC investigation orders 14 utilities to specify how they notify customers of service outages; MUB and Mon Power included

MORGANTOWN – The state Public Service Commission has opened a general investigation into notifications by utilities and cable providers regarding service outages.

The PSC told 14 regulated utilities that they should explain how they notify their individual customers when they are affected by service outages.

The companies named in the investigation are Mountaineer Gas, Hope Gas, Consumers Gas Utility, Union Oil & Gas, Cardinal Natural Gas, West Virginia-American Water, Beckley Water Co., Appalachian Power and Wheeling Power, Mon Power and Potomac Edison, Morgantown Utility Board, Frontier West Virginia, and Optimum.

The utilities have 20 days to respond to the order. They should provide an explanation of how they notify their individual affected customers of service outages; what plans they have, if any, to add, expand, modify, or improve notification systems; describe any technical or physical barriers that exist to providing electronic notifications by email or text message; and describe procedures in place to notify mass communication media of outages.

West Virginia Rural Water Association, West Virginia Municipal League, and the West Virginia Internet and Television Association were provided with a copy of the order so they can inform their members of the general investigation.

The commission says it will welcome responses from the associations’ members, but members are not required to respond.