PUC Approves Settlement with Clearview Energy Regarding Violations Related to Sales & Marketing Practices
Published on 10/28/2021
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a Joint Petition for Approval of Settlement (settlement) between the PUC’s Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement (I&E) and Clearview Electric, Inc. d/b/a Clearview Energy (Clearview) following an informal investigation into an alleged theft by agents representing Clearview as well as alleged problems with the company’s marketing practices as a licensed electric generation supplier (supplier) in Pennsylvania.
The Commission voted 3-0 to approve the settlement between I&E and Clearview stemming from an alleged wallet theft in Wiconisco Township, Dauphin County, by two sales agents employed by a third-party vendor used by Clearview to market the company’s electric generation services. In response to the incident, Clearview removed the two agents from its marketing campaign.
This incident led to a Formal Complaint being filed by I&E which alleged additional problems with Clearview’s marketing efforts, including inadequate background checks, marketing efforts without proper notifications, switching customers without their permission, and charging customers a higher rate than Clearview had advertised.
Under the settlement, Clearview agrees to the following terms and conditions:
- Pay a civil penalty of $59,750, which is not tax deductible.
- Provide each customer whose account was improperly switched with a refund of the entire electric generation supply portion on the customer’s bill for the first two billing periods that the customer was switched to Clearview.
- Refund any cancellation or early termination fees imposed by other suppliers and incurred by the customers who were switched to Clearview without authorization.
- Provide refunds to affected customers in the Duquesne Light and PECO Energy service territories for overcharges.
- Revise its policies and practices related to billing, criminal background checks of prospective agents, and advance notifications of door-to-door sales and marketing activities.
The PUC balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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Docket No.: C-2020-3020127
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