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Regulator Opens Investigations Into Three Retail Suppliers

May 4, 2020

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Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • ring@energychoicematters.com

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The Connecticut PURA has recently opened investigations into three retail electric suppliers, and has referred the matters to its Prosecutorial Unit for investigation and potential settlement discussions, rather than issuing a Notice of Violation at this time

In a May 1 Prosecutorial notice concerning both Constellation NewEnergy and Energy Plus Holdings, LLC (believed to reflect a consolidated notice for administrative ease, rather than suggesting that the underlying activities were carried out jointly by the suppliers as opposed to each individually) PURA stated that the members of Staff were delegated to the Prosecutorial Unit, "solely for the purpose of investigating compliance with licensed electric supplier billing, marketing, and licensing requirements, and, if appropriate, facilitating settlement discussions among the parties."

"If a settlement is not achieved and the Prosecutorial Unit believes the Authority should take further action regarding alleged non-compliance, the Authority requests that the Prosecutorial Unit petition the Authority setting forth its recommendations citing to supporting facts and law," PURA said

"Based on complaints from Connecticut residents, the Authority initiates this investigation pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245u to determine if the licensed electric suppliers Constellation New Energy, Inc. and Energy Plus Holdings, LLC have complied with: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245d regarding properly conveying supply summary information to the electric distribution companies for display on customer bills; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245o regarding marketing to residential customers; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245s regarding proper third-party verifications, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245 regarding compliance with continuing licensing requirements; and Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-110b regarding violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act," PURA said

"The Authority refers this matter to the Prosecutorial Unit for further investigation and, if appropriate, subsequent settlement negotiations for the purpose of achieving a settlement that contains an appropriate civil penalty, extensive retraining of the suppliers’ third-party agents, and retention of all sales calls with continued auditing," PURA said

Constellation issued the following statement to EnergyChoiceMatters.com concerning the matter:

"Constellation is and always has been committed to treating our customers fairly, respectfully and responsibly. We take compliance seriously and will cooperate fully with Connecticut PURA as it conducts its investigation."

--- Statement from Constellation

Energy Plus issued the following statement to EnergyChoiceMatters.com concerning the matter:

"We remain committed to complying with the rules and regulations intended to protect consumers while providing them with choices in their retail energy supply. We plan to fully cooperate with the investigation and remain compliant in our services to our customers in Connecticut."

--- Statement from Energy Plus

Separately, in March, PURA appointed Prosecutorial Staff for, "the purpose investigating billing, marketing, and fulfillment of licensing requirements by Clearview Electric, Inc. (Clearview) and, if appropriate, to facilitate settlement discussions among the parties."

"Based on complaints from Connecticut residents, the Authority initiates this investigation pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245u to determine if Clearview has complied with: Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245d regarding properly conveying supply summary information to the electric distribution companies for display on customer bills; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245o regarding marketing to residential customers; Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245s regarding proper third-party verifications, Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245 regarding compliance with continuing licensing requirements; and Conn. Gen. Stat. § 42-110b regarding violations of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. In lieu of issuing an immediate Notice of Violation against Clearview, the Authority refers this matter to the Prosecutorial Unit for further investigation and subsequent settlement negotiations for the purpose of achieving a settlement that contains an appropriate civil penalty, extensive retraining of Clearview’s third-party agents, and retention of all sales calls with continued auditing," PURA said

Clearview issued the following statement to EnergyChoiceMatters.com concerning the matter:

"Clearview Energy’s priority is to always provide Best in Class service for all of its customers. Clearview Energy takes all of PURA’s concerns seriously, and is working diligently to respond to the Prosecutorial Unit."

--- Statement from Clearview

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