Retail Supplier Files Complaint Against ESCO At New York PSC
November 15, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Atlantic Power & Gas, LLC ('APG' or 'Complainant') has filed a complaint at the New York Public Service Commission against Median Energy Corporation ('Median') alleging violations of the Uniform Business Practices ('UBP') and New York State General Business Law ('GBL')
Atlantic Power & Gas alleged, "Median enrolled one of APG’s longstanding customers ('the Customer') without authorization, causing considerable damage to the Customer, as well as financial and reputational harm to APG’s business."
Atlantic Power & Gas alleged in the complaint the following: "The Customer reported that in mid-August 2019 a man came to her home and asked to see her energy bill, purportedly to determine whether the Customer was being charged a system benefit charge, certain surcharges and other various taxes. See Affidavit of J. Tessitore (hereinafter Tessitore Aff.), sworn to November 4, 2019, at Exhibit B. The Customer questioned the man as to whether he was from an ESCO and explicitly stated that she did not want to change her energy service provider. Tessitore Aff. ¶ 6. Eventually, the Customer acquiesced to the man’s requests and produced a copy of her energy bill. Tessitore Aff. ¶ 7. The man made various marks on the bill and told the Customer that the distribution utility company would follow up with her. Tessitory [sic] Aff. ¶ 7. Subsequently, the Customer received notice, dated August 19, 2019 from the distribution utility confirming that her energy service provider would be changed from APG to Median. Tessitore Aff. ¶ 8, Exh. 1. Upon learning of this unauthorized change, the Customer took action to rectify the situation, expending significant time and energy. Tessitore Aff. ¶¶ 9-11. Notwithstanding the customer’s diligent efforts, she has been unable to enroll with APG -- her desired energy service provider -- because the Commission previously suspended APG’s ability to enroll customers and the time period for otherwise allowed 'winbacks' has passed. See Tessitore Aff. ¶ 12; Xirinachs Aff. ¶ 7"
Atlantic Power & Gas said that UBP Section 5.K prohibits an ESCO from changing a customer’s energy provider without the customer’s authorization, and further requires an ESCO engaged in such activity to refund to the customer the difference between charges imposed by the slamming ESCO in excess of the amount the customer would have otherwise paid.
Atlantic Power & Gas alleged, "Median’s agent visited the Customer at her home and asked to see her energy bill under the guise of checking on various taxes and surcharges. Tessitore Aff. ¶ 5. Thereafter, Median switched the Customer’s energy service provider from APG to Median, despite the Customer’s express statements that she wanted to retain APG as her energy service provider. Tessitore Aff. ¶¶ 7-9. Such unauthorized change is in direct contravention of the mandates of the UBP and demonstrates that Median directly violated the UBP."
APG said that New York General Business Law ('GBL') Section 349-d prohibits any person who sells or offers for sale any energy services for, or on behalf of, an ESCO from engaging in any deceptive acts or practices.
APG requested that the Commission, through the dispute resolution process afforded in UBP 8.B:
i. direct Median to immediately cease and desist all unauthorized enrollments;
ii. permit the Customer to re-enroll with the service provider of their choice;
iii. direct Median to make the Customer whole for any losses resulting from Median’s slam;
iv. issue an order finding Median in violation of the UBP and GBL 349-d; and
v. order such other relief as the Commission may determine is reasonably appropriate