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Illinois Opens Rulemaking on Supplier Marketing; Staff Recommends Notice for Rate Changes, Posting of Rate History

September 14, 2015

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Copyright 2010-15
Reporting by Karen Abbott •

The Illinois Commerce Commission has opened a rulemaking proceeding to revise retail electric supplier marketing standards

A Staff report incorporated into the proceeding recommends, among other things, that the Commission consider requiring suppliers to provide notice of variable rate changes, and requiring suppliers to post an average historical variable rate.

Specifically, Staff recommends that the Commission in the rulemaking adopt a definition for variable rates, as well as a definition for an "introductory" rate

Furthermore, Staff recommends that the Commission consider requiring suppliers to provide their residential variable rate customers with notice of upcoming rate changes. The exact time frame of such notices and associated details should be specified in the Commission’s rules, Staff said.

"While Staff acknowledges the challenges of comparing historical rates among the various suppliers with variable rate offers, Staff sees a benefit in customers having access to a high-level comparison of variable rates charged by different suppliers in the past. As a result, Staff recommends that the Commission consider requiring suppliers to provide average residential variable rates of the recent past," Staff said

For fixed price contracts, Staff also recommends that the Commission consider requiring suppliers to disclose certain possible cost pass-through provisions in the same prominent manner as the items listed in current section 412.110 (Minimum Contract Terms and Conditions).

Staff also recommends that the Commission consider the following items when making amendments to Code Part 412.

• Additional requirements regarding comparison to the utility supply rate

• Broaden the definition of “door-to-door” sales to include all in-person sales

• Verification during in-person sales and additional in-person marketing guidelines

• Mandatory recording and retention of all telesales

• Clarify that the sales agent may not be present for the Third-Party Verification during in-person sales

• Clarify the intent of Section 412.110 in conjunction with the remaining contract terms and conditions

• Creating a definition for introductory rates

• Requiring suppliers to post residential offers on

• Restricting the use of utility names and logos

• Incorporation of termination fee limits pursuant to Public Acts 99-103 and 99-107 (click here for background on such limits)

• Controlling the use of terms like "green energy" on the list of residential offers posted by suppliers on

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