PUC Seeks Comment on Proposed Settlement with Green Mountain Energy Regarding Unauthorized Enrollments of Residential Customer Accounts
Published on 11/18/2021
Filed under: Electric
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today issued for comment a proposed settlement agreement between the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement (I&E) and Green Mountain Energy Company (Green Mountain) stemming from alleged unauthorized enrollments of residential customer accounts by agents of Green Mountain.
The Commission voted 3-0 to provide interested parties an opportunity to comment on the proposed settlement – which follows an informal investigation by I&E based on numerous informal complaints by residential customers to the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services (BCS) alleging that their accounts had been switched to receive electric generation supply provided by Green Mountain without the customers’ authorizations. The unauthorized switching allegations centered on Green Mountain’s marketing activities at in-person locations, including retail and event sites, where Green Mountain agents were utilizing eligible customer lists to obtain the information of prospective customers.
Under the proposed settlement agreement, Green Mountain agrees to the following terms and conditions:
- Pay a civil penalty of $156,000, 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 Green Mountain.
- Refund any cancellation or early termination fees imposed by other suppliers and incurred by the customers who were switched to Green Mountain without authorization.
- Provide monthly reports, for a period of one year, detailing complaints from Pennsylvania consumers that were received by the Company from BCS, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureau and/or complaints directed to the Company. The monthly report to I&E shall include customer complaint data from the previous month.
- Retain customer signatures placed on enrollment tablets used at in-person marketing locations for a period of one (1) year starting after the entry of a Final Commission Order in this matter and will provide such records to BCS and I&E upon request.
Within 25 days of publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, interested parties may file comments on the proposed settlements. All comments shall be filed through the PUC’s eFiling system. Instructions on eFiling, including how to open a PUC eFiling account, are contained in the Commission’s Order.
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.: M-2021-3009235
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