PUC Lifts Pandemic-Related Moratorium on Door-to-Door, Public Event and In-Person Energy Sales and Marketing Activities
Published on 7/15/2021
Suppliers and Their Agents Must Still Comply with Relevant Orders of Governor and Health Secretary, Adhere to PUC Regulations and Orders
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today lifted the moratorium on door-to-door, public event and in-person energy sales and marketing activities by PUC jurisdictional competitive energy suppliers (suppliers), which was put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.
Commissioners voted 4-0 to lift the current moratorium, which was put in place by virtue of the Commission’s March 16, 2020 Emergency Order (Emergency Order) prohibiting such sales and marketing activities. Today’s action follows a 30-day public comment period initiated by the PUC in May on further modifying and eventually lifting the Emergency Order – and marks the fourth time in 16 months that the Commission has modified the Emergency Order.
In approving today’s Order, the Commission once again stipulated that suppliers engaging in door-to-door, public event, and in-person sales and marketing activities must continue to comply with relevant orders and guidance of the Governor and the Secretary of Health as well as all applicable PUC regulations and orders.
Additionally, the Commission continues to require jurisdictional suppliers to report their intent to resume door-to-door sales and marketing activities – including the general time period and geographic area in which the supplier will be active – to both the PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO) and Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS).
Similarly, jurisdictional suppliers are directed to report when they use a third-party vendor to perform door-to-door sales and marketing activities as part of their report under 52 Pa. Code § 111.14 to BCS. These report requirements will remain in effect until Sept. 30, 2021, or unless lifted earlier by the Commission.
To increase awareness and compliance among the state’s supplier community, the Commission is also directing OCMO and BCS to issue a Secretarial Letter pertaining to the scheduling of training sessions on the resumption of door-to-door sales and marketing activities – to be offered to all electric general suppliers and natural gas suppliers under the Commission’s jurisdiction.
Today’s action marks the fourth time that the Commission has modified the March 16 Emergency Order. By virtue of its June 4, 2020 Order, the PUC lifted the moratorium on in-person sales and marketing activities for activities at retail businesses open as a result of the Governor’s directives at that time. Subsequently, on Dec. 3, 2020, the Commission permitted the resumption of energy sales and marketing at outdoor public events – and then in May
granted a Petition for Partial Rescission of the Emergency Order and lifted the portion of the Emergency Order prohibiting suppliers from conducting in-person sales and marketing activities with commercial and industrial customers that are open as a result of orders or directives of the Governor and the Secretary of Health.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission 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.: M-2020-3019254
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