A Philadelphia Gas Works office on South Broad Street (Danya Henninger/Billy Penn)

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Tens of thousands of customers who manage their Philadelphia Gas Works accounts online might think they’re locked out after the utility switched to a new system that requires every user to re-register.

PGW upgraded to the new system in July. Of the roughly 94,000 people who use the online portal to pay and track their gas bills, about two-thirds had set up their new account by the end of August, according to spokesperson Richard Barnes.

The new system brings benefits, Barnes said, including “user-friendly features like bill alerts, payment reminders, an energy usage dashboard, and information on energy rebates and incentive programs.” Business customers also get access to the new portal, he said.

But some paperless customers expressed frustration on social media, saying they didn’t know anything about the switch.

PGW did notify users via several platforms, per Barnes. A notification about the pending change was sent via the old accounts before they were shut down, he said, and the news was announced through “issues of PGW’s billing newsletter” and on “PGW social media channels.” Each paperless customer also should have received a direct email, Barnes said.

Some e-bill customers told Billy Penn they could not locate any emails from PGW about the change.

The good news: Re-registration only takes a few minutes — as long as you have your PGW account number on hand. Don’t have a physical or electronic copy of your last bill? You can call PGW at 215-235-1000 to get your account number.

If you’re an autopay customer, you should be able to find the number on your emailed monthly billing statements — and yes, you will need to re-enroll in autopay, and re-enter all of your banking info.

However, PGW’s 65,000 autopay customers shouldn’t see any interruptions in their regularly scheduled payments, said spokesperson Barnes.

“[They] will continue to be enrolled in autopay even if they have not re-registered their accounts,” he said.

Did all this lead to a late fee you want to dispute? Barnes said to call PGW’s customer service reps at 215-235-1000 to discuss.

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Max Marin (he/him) was Billy Penn's investigative reporter from 2018 to 2021. A graduate of Temple University, he has produced award-winning journalism on local politics, criminal justice, immigration...