PUC Approves Settlement with National Gas & Electric LLC Regarding Company’s Sales and Marketing Practices
Published on 1/12/2023
Settlement Includes Changes to Operating Procedures, Customer Refunds and a Civil Penalty for Possible Bill Overcharges, Unauthorized Enrollments
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a settlement between the PUC’s independent Bureau of Investigation & Enforcement (I&E) and National Gas & Electric LLC (NG&E) stemming from alleged fraudulent, deceptive and unlawful conduct related to NG&E’s sales and marketing practices as a licensed electric generation supplier (EGS) in Pennsylvania.
The Commission voted 5-0 to adopt the Joint Petition for Approval of Settlement between the Parties. The settlement resolves the informal complaint proceeding initiated by I&E based on information referred to I&E by the Commission’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight (OCMO).
OCMO had notified I&E of six informal complaints made by NG&E’s customers in Pennsylvania regarding possible overcharges or unauthorized enrollments, and also reported other similar informal complaints that were filed with the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services.
Under the settlement agreement, NG&E agreed to the following terms and conditions:
- Pay a civil penalty of $15,250. No amount of the civil penalty may be passed through as an additional charge to NG&E’s Pennsylvania customers. The civil penalty must be paid within 30 days of the entry of the Commission’s Order adopting the settlement agreement.
- Modify its operating procedures as a safeguard against future instances of unauthorized customer enrollments, deceptive marketing and sales practices, unauthorized persons acting on behalf of a customer, and initiating the verification process before finalizing the transaction process.
- Provide a refund to each customer who was invalidly enrolled with NG&E – with the refund equal to the customer’s first two months of electric supply charges.
- Provide I&E with monthly reports on the company’s customer complaint data for a minimum of one year – to include the number of complaints received by NG&E directly from customers in Pennsylvania related to allegations of overbilling, slamming and/or fraudulent, deceptive or other unlawful marketing and sales of EGS products and/or services by NG&E or its agent.
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-2022-2633098
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