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PSC Grants Waiver Of Newly Adopted Retail Energy Marketing, Consumer Protection Rules To Allow Greater Time For Compliance

Directs Trade Group To "Affirm" Suppliers' Compliance

February 7, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The District of Columbia PSC has issued a market-wide waiver of numerous provisions of its newly adopted retail energy marketing and customer protection rules under the consumer bill of rights (RM3-2014-01, FC 712)

As first reported by, the PSC adopted a comprehensive set of modified rules for the retail energy market in December (see our exclusive analysis here)

As previously reported, the Retail Energy Supply Association petitioned the PSC for a temporary delay in the effective date of the revised consumer bill of rights and associated retail electric and gas market rules, or a "market waiver," of approximately 11 weeks from December 14, 2018, or until March 1, 2019. RESA cited the extensive revisions under the rules and the need for suppliers to update numerous internal systems and processes to comply with the revisions

The PSC on February 6 adopted an order stating that, "After reviewing RESA’s arguments, the Commission recognizes that the new rules add a number of obligations on Energy Suppliers requiring them to, among other things, update or develop/enhance their internal systems, update their enrollment and marketing practices, and update their solicitation materials. In an effort to allow the Energy Suppliers to make the necessary changes to its systems, to ensure a seamless transition, and to alleviate the risk of confusing customers, the Commission believes that granting a temporary waiver of compliance with the rules adopted in December 2018 is reasonable."

Specifically, the PSC ruled that RESA has shown good cause for the Commission to grant a waiver of compliance with the following provisions of the CBOR:

(1) § 308.1 (informing customer that provision of social security number is voluntary);

(2) § 309.1 (privacy protection policy against unauthorized disclosure of customer information);

(3) §§ 327.7 and 327.8 (solicitations and contracting);

(4) §§ 327.13 and 327.14 (direct mail solicitation with telephone response);

(5) §§ 327.16 - 327.19 (requirements for telephone solicitations);

(6) § 327.24 (direct mail solicitation);

(7) § 327.30 (Energy Suppliers prominent display on their websites links to the Commission’s website;

(8) § 327.34 (added encryption using Secure Socket Layer (SSL)); and

(9) §§ 327.44 and § 327.45 (written notices to customers upon expiration/termination/automatic renewals of contracts).

The Commission waived until March 1, 2019, the requirement for the energy suppliers to comply fully with the provisions of the rules listed above

"With the exception of the Subsections 327.29 and 327.35, the Commission will grant a waiver until March 1, 2019, for the Energy Suppliers to come into full compliance with the provisions of the rules noted above," the PSC said

Notably, the PSC also directed that, "RESA shall submit a filing by March 4, 2019, affirming Energy Suppliers’ compliance with the new CBOR provisions."

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