Retail Supplier Receives Waiver From TPV Rules
September 26, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio granted Direct Energy Business, LLC and Direct Energy Services, LLC a waiver of certain rules governing the third-party verification (TPV) process for new customers enrolled through sales channels requiring a TPV, to allow for a "digital" TPV process, subject to conditions recommended by PUCO Staff
Direct requested a waiver of Ohio Adm.Code 4901:1-21-06(D)(1)(h) and
4901:1-21-06(D)(2)(a) (Electric TPV Rules) and Ohio Adm.Code 4901:29-06(D)(6)(b) and 4901:1-29-06(E)(1) (Gas TPV Rules) to give customers the option of third-party verification
through a digital confirmation platform.
"Specifically, the waiver would expand references
in these rules to the terms 'audio recording,' 'telephonically,' 'telephone call,' 'verbal,'
and 'call' such that a customer’s election to pursue digital TPV would be deemed compliant
with these rules. Employing the waiver, when the digital TPV process is selected, the
customer’s verification will occur through text or internet prompts instead of a telephonic
voice communication. The verification information is not changed -- only the medium for
the communication," PUCO said in summarizing the petition
"The Commission finds that Applicants have
shown good cause for the requested waiver. Accordingly, Applicants’ request for a waiver
of the provisions of the Electric TPV Rules and Gas TPV Rules is granted, subject to Staff’s
conditions and recommendations. Applicants are authorized to confirm enrollments using
digital TPV when requested by customers," PUCO said
As previously reported, the conditions proposed by Staff were:
1. Only the verbal requirement included in Ohio Adm.Code 4901:1-21- 06(D)(1)(h), 4901:1-21-06(D)(2)(a), 4901:1-29-06(D)(6)(b) and 4901:1-29- 06(E)(1) shall be waived.
2. All other requirements and disclosures for telephonic and door-to-door third-party verification be met using text through the digital platform.
3. That the waiver expires when the Commission issues its final rules in Case No. 17-1843-EL-ORD and 17-1847-GA-ORD (concerning customer protections, enrollment, etc.).
"Pursuant to this waiver, Applicants are authorized to substitute digital
enrollment verification in lieu of telephonic verification when that substitution is selected
by the enrolling customer. When the digital enrollment verification is requested, the
customer will verify, acknowledge, and confirm TPV information through 'yes/no'
questions on the customer’s personal communication device after the salesperson has left
the customer’s property. Applicants must continue ensuring that all specific items listed in
the rules are verified with the customer in clear, plain language regardless of whether the
responses are electronic or telephonic," PUCO said
"Although Applicants request the rule waiver for an indefinite period of time,
the Commission finds that the waiver should be granted only until the Commission issues
an order addressing enrollment requirements in the pending five-year rule review in Case
Nos. 17-1843-EL-ORD and 17-1847-GA-ORD," PUCO said