PSC Proposes Requiring Retail Suppliers to File With Commission Photo IDs of Every Individual Conducting In-Person Sales for Supplier
February 6, 2015 Email This Story Copyright 2010-15 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
The District of Columbia PSC has proposed new rules regarding the licensure of retail electric suppliers, which would impose new requirements for suppliers to file sales and marketing materials with the Commission prior to their sales activities.
The proposed rule would require applicants to file a sample copy of each of the electricity supplier's electric supply customer contracts (e.g., fixed, variable) and a sample bill with the PSC.
Furthermore, the proposed rule provides that, "[a] Licensee (both new and existing, if not currently serving customers) is required to notify the Commission no later than ten (10) days before it starts soliciting customers directly or through an authorized representative. The notice shall include the name of the Electricity Supplier's designated contact person for pricing information if the Licensee is serving residential customers and small commercial customers and the URL address of the Electricity Supplier's website. The Licensee shall provide photo identifications for each person who conducts in person Solicitations for the Licensee. The Licensee shall also provide the Commission with a copy of its flyers, consumer pamphlets, scripts and other proposed marketing material at the time of notification."
Additionally, for the purpose of monitoring compliance with 15 DCMR Subsections 327.26, 327.27, 327.30, 327.31, 327.32, 327.33, 327.34 and 327.48 regarding electronic solicitation on the supplier's website, "each Licensee who contracts electronically with customers shall provide the Commission with the electronic capability to initiate and complete its website enrollment process, without creating an actual customer account."
"Each Licensee shall demonstrate this capability by providing the Commission with a dedicated (simulated) account number for its use to test and monitor the Licensee's website," the proposal provides
"A Licensee is required to do the following before it begins to serve customers in the District of Columbia: (a) notify the Commission of the date when it will begin to serve customers in the District of Columbia; and (b) file an affidavit attesting that all sales and marketing and regulatory personnel have been trained in Chapters 3 and 46 of Title 15 of the DCMR before they begin soliciting customers in the District of Columbia," the proposed rule provides.
In an existing rule proposed to be retained but which is worth highlighting, the proposed rule provides that a supplier shall provide to the Commission at least 60 days prior written notice of the Licensee's intention to cease providing services (a) in the District of Columbia; or (b) to all Customers within a specified Customer class. Upon receipt of such notice, the Commission may order the supplier to provide such further notice to the public as the Commission deems necessary, and/or take such other action that the Commission deems appropriate.
Additionally, the proposed rule retains the existing broad definition for entities required to be licensed as electric suppliers as including any entities which "arrange for" electricity contracts. "No Person shall present itself as a licensed retail Electricity Supplier, accept Deposits or prepayments from retail customers, or contract with retail customers or arrange for contracts for retail customers," the draft provides.