State Senator Presses Regulator To Implement Retail Supplier "Overcharge Claim System" Immediately
Vows To Expand Regulator's Authority Over Refunds, Fines
October 29, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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In comments on a draft Connecticut PURA decision that would, among other things, drop customers to default service if their retail supplier does not provide timely and complete next month rate information to the EDCs (first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com here), Connecticut State Senator Len Suzio urged PURA to implement an, "overcharge claim system," for retail electric bills.
Suzio's experience with inaccurate next month rate info with his retail supplier prompted PURA's current review of the issue.
Suzio wrote to PURA that, "While the Authority may lack the statutory power to order restitution to consumers for overcharged electric bills, the Authority should order that an overcharge claim system be implemented asap. The system should clearly delineate critical claims processing information, including supplier contact information (phone and e-mail), directions on how to submit claims (by mail, by phone or by e-mail), the documents needed to process claims, a confirmation of claim receipt by the supplier and a deadline (no more than 15 days from receipt of claim and required documentation) for response to a properly submitted claim."
Suzio further wrote, "It is my intention to propose legislation during the 2019 Session to provide the PURA with the authority it should have to order utilities and suppliers to refund substantiated claims and to augment the PURA’s authority to levy fines for abusive or lax billing practices. In the meantime, it is critical that Connecticut consumers have unambiguous procedures for claims related to overcharges on their electric bills."
Commenting on the substance of PURA's proposed changes in the draft, Suzio, "concur[s] with much of the elements in the proposed final decision," but wrote that, "[t]he timeline for implementation of the new software, systems and procedures changes should be accelerated."
"Thousands of ratepayers will continue to be exposed to unreliable electric utility bills until all corrective actions have been completed. The utilities have the resources to make this a high priority and to accelerate completion of the necessary changes," Suzio wrote