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Illinois Rules Review Committee Rejects Requirement For Double Verification Of Retail Electric Sales

Mandatory Telephone Call To Customers About Renewals Also Rejected

"Written" Notice For 20% Variable Rate Increases Adopted


September 13, 2017

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Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) largely approved revisions to the retail electricity marketing rules as approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission in a second notice, but ordered several key revisions, including the elimination of double verification for in-person sales, according to the Citizens Utility Board which issued a statement on JCAR's actions

As exclusively first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, under the second notice order as adopted by the ICC, all in-person solicitations that lead to an enrollment were to require a Letter of Agency and a third-party verification. The adopted second notice order defines "in-person solicitation" as, "any sale initiated or conducted when the RES [retail electric supplier] agent is physically present with the customer."

According to CUB, JCAR ordered the ICC to eliminate the new requirement that all suppliers obtain third-party verification of door-to-door sales, in addition to a Letter of Agency. CUB said that under JCAR's revisions, suppliers may choose either a Letter of Agency or third-party verification for such sales

CUB also said that JCAR's actions "soften" a requirement that a supplier notify customers that a contract is being renewed (click here for more about the requirement was previously approved by the ICC). The second notice order was to require suppliers to notify customers by phone and a letter that a contract is being renewed. Under JCAR's revisions, a letter and, "one additional means of communication," are required, CUB said, which CUB said could possibly be another letter or even notification on a supplier website

CUB said some of the key reforms which survived the JCAR process without revisions include:

• Requiring suppliers send customers a separate written notice when a variable rate will increase by at least 20% (see discussion as previously approved by the ICC here). Under the second notice order, "variable rate" is defined as meaning, "the charge for electric power and energy service changes at any time during the term of the contract, but does not change more than once per month." The second notice order stated, "If a residential variable rate customer's rate increases by more than 20% from one monthly billing period to the next, the RES shall send a separate written notice to the customer, informing the customer of the upcoming rate change." The second notice order defined "written" as meaning a hard copy, and the rules provide that an electronic copy satisfies the requirement for "written" notice so long as both RES and customer have agreed to electronic communication.

• Provide 12 months of pricing history for a variable rate offer (an offer that can change monthly)

• Limit door-to-door marketing to 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. or dusk, whichever comes first.

• Require a supplier that promises savings to provide a written statement to the customer detailing such a claim.

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