PSC Releases Details Regarding Energy Supplier Complaints, Will Post Data Going Forward
PSC Chair "Increasingly Concerned" About Suppliers Who Don't Play By The Rules
December 16, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Maryland Public Service Commission said that it will now share certain information regarding complaints filed by customers against retail electric and natural gas suppliers.
"The information will assist customers shopping for an energy supplier to make informed decisions regarding the selection of a supplier or to follow up on a contact made by a supplier agent," the PSC said
The data will also contain monthly and cumulative totals of complaints received during the fiscal year, the issues alleged in the complaints, and how complaints have been resolved. In Fiscal Year 2019, Commission’s Consumer Affairs Division (CAD) received and investigated more than 700 complaints involving retail energy suppliers.
"Maryland’s competitive energy marketplace empowers customers to choose a supplier that best meets their energy needs, but we are increasingly concerned about those suppliers who don’t play by the rules," said Jason M. Stanek, Commission Chairman. "We believe that posting complaint numbers, similar to what is done in other states such as New York, will hold suppliers accountable and provide greater transparency to the public, consumer advocates, and legislators. While these numbers don’t tell the whole story of customers’ experiences with a supplier, it’s one more piece of information that consumers can consider when shopping for an energy supplier," Chairman Stanek said.
The PSC noted that, as previously reported, "In recent months, the Commission has increased its enforcement and oversight of retail energy suppliers, including taking action against a natural gas supplier (SmartOne Energy) for enrolling customers without their consent—a practice known as ‘slamming.’ The Commission revoked SmartOne’s license to do business in Maryland and levied a record $561,000 civil penalty. Four other formal complaint proceedings, initiated by the Commission’s Technical Staff, are currently in litigation before the Commission’s Public Utility Law Judge Division. Those cases involve Atlantic Energy Maryland, LLC; Direct Energy Services, LLC; SmartEnergy Holdings, LLC; and U.S. Gas & Electric (also known as Maryland Gas & Electric)."