The House approved legislation that encourages public utilities to update their infrastructure and enable them to recover their capital investment in a timely manner, according to the sponsor of the bill House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny.

Turzai said in a statement that the legislation, if passed by the Senate and signed by the governor, would make it easier for utilities to make needed repairs or upgrades and enables them to recover the costs as they do so. The bill will permit utilities, subject to Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approval, to gradually recover infrastructure investment costs from consumers, rather than impose large increases in customer bills following general rate cases.

HB 1294 also gives the PUC authority to approve, reject or modify alternative rate recovery plans proposed by utilities as a means of recovering capital investments related to infrastructure improvements. It also enables utilities that provide both water and wastewater services to charge consolidated rates.