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Allegheny Energy customers with PowerPay pay earlier

August 05, 2003|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

Allegheny Energy customers who use PowerPay will notice their money is leaving their accounts a little earlier than usual.

The utility's automatic payment system, which deducts the amount due from a customer's checking or savings account, began subtracting the amount due from accounts 10 days earlier than usual this month, Allegheny spokesman Allen Staggers said.

Before, PowerPay deducted the money on the day the bill was due, giving customers about 20 days between the time the bill was issued and the day the payment was made, Staggers said.

Starting Aug. 1, that time period shrank to about 10 days, Staggers said.

"We acknowledge that it does get us our money sooner," Staggers said.

The other thing it does is make PowerPay more consistent with other billing options under which customers voluntarily are choosing to pay their bills earlier than they are due, Staggers said.

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Most of Allegheny's customers pay their bills through the mail and most customers pay before the due date, he said. Staggers said 82 percent of customers who pay their bills early, pay them eight to 10 days early.

Of Allegheny's 1.7 million customers, about 60,000 use PowerPay, Staggers said.

Customers were notified of the PowerPay change with a brochure that was issued no later than early summer, Staggers said. There also is a special notice on the first page of the bill affected by the change, he said.

Customers who don't like the change in PowerPay can switch to a different payment option, Staggers said. In addition to paying by mail, customers can pay via the Internet and set the date on which they want the bill paid, he said.

It takes three days to end a PowerPay enrollment, Staggers said.

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