In Draft, Regulator Issues Further Directives To Retail Suppliers Concerning Amnesty, Refund Plans
--- Would Require Filed Plans To Conform To Latest Directives
April 24, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Connecticut PURA issued a "draft interim decision" which would establish further parameters and requirements for amnesty plans filed by retail electric suppliers.
Under the amnesty plans, suppliers have proposed issuing refunds to customers in lieu of civil penalties resulting from any non-compliance with Next Cycle Rate information
The draft provides, "The Authority approves the following plan for refunding customer amounts: Suppliers will issue refund checks to all customers (both current and non-current) affected by next cycle rate violations for every violation incurred. Such refunds shall not be limited to any specific number of violations or solely to current customers. A letter should be included with the refund check informing the customer of the nature of the refund and instructing the customer to cash the check promptly. Such checks and letters shall be sent to all affected customers on a date to be determined by the Authority, as noted below."
The draft provides, "For any checks returned as undeliverable, the supplier shall make a good faith effort, and document procedures used in such effort, to find updated addresses for such customers. If refunds remain unclaimed after one year, the supplier shall follow the abandoned property laws as set forth in Conn. Gen. Stat. §3-60c et. seq."
The draft provides, "The Authority rejects any proposed plan that does not conform to the above instructions. Specifically, the Authority rejects any plan that does not attempt to return funds to both current and non-current customers, does not attempt to return funds to all affected customers for all violations regardless of how many billing cycles were impacted, and/or does not follow Connecticut abandoned property laws for unclaimed refunds. Any supplier submitting a plan that does not conform to the approved method detailed above must be willing to implement a plan corresponding to that described above if it chooses to continue to participate in this docket or withdraw its participation."
The draft provides, "The Authority maintains that suppliers should refund next cycle rate differences to all customers, whether or not current, and suppliers should not limit the refunds to any time frame affected. The Authority disagrees with any assertion that customers receiving repeated incorrect next cycle rates on their bills were on constructive notice and/or should not receive full refunds for all incorrect next cycle rates on their bills."
The draft provides, "All suppliers shall indicated [sic] to the Authority no later than May 10, 2019 if they are willing to comply with the plan detailed above. Suppliers continuing to participate in this docket shall then stay all refunds until the Authority has evaluated individually submitted information and indicated to each supplier via correspondence or decision that it may begin issuing refunds. Suppliers that have not submitted their plan must indicate a willingness to comply with the plan described above by May 10, 2019, or their participation shall be considered withdrawn."
The draft provides, "On or before May 10, 2019, suppliers shall indicate a willingness to follow the plan outlined above when issuing refunds to customers identified in their proposals. Suppliers shall then stay all refunds until the Authority indicates to each supplier via correspondence or decision that it may initiate the refund process detailed above. Suppliers that have not submitted their plan must do so by May 10, 2019 and such plan must correspond to the plan outlined above."
A notice accompanying the draft states that written exceptions are due by Monday, May 6
The same notice states that the Authority expects to render an interim decision on the matter on Wednesday, May 22, 2019
We note that such date is after the date by which suppliers would be ordered to accept the directives contained in the draft