Updated With Written Order:
PUC Allows In-Store Marketing By Retail Suppliers To Resume, As Well As Certain By-Appointment In-Person Marketing
June 3, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Updated, 3:30 p.m.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has issued a written order allowing retail suppliers, brokers and similar entities to resume in-store
marketing activities, and to resume, by appointment only, in-person meetings with non-residential customers
"Beginning immediately, all competitive retail electric
service providers and competitive retail natural gas service suppliers may resume in-store
marketing activities. Suppliers may also resume meetings with commercial and industrial
customers by appointment, pursuant to the directives set forth below," PUCO said.
"Specifically, the Commission finds that in-store
marketing activities may be resumed as soon as reasonably possible provided they are: (1)
in accordance with arrangements between the CRES and CRNGS provider and the store;
(2) any such resumed activities are proactively compliant with relevant requirements and
best practices issued by the Ohio Department of Health, as well as any guidance or order
from any relevant local health authority; and (3) in accordance with all Commission rules
and statutory mandates applicable to CRES and CRNGS providers," PUCO said
The term CRES and CRNGS provider applies to entities including retail suppliers, marketers, brokers, and aggregators
Commission clarifies that CRES and CRNGS providers may also resume scheduling in-person
appointments for non-residential customers," PUCO said
PUCO is requiring that, "In the event that any CRES or CRNGS
provider receives, from a state or local enforcement authority, a warning or more formal
citation for failure to comply with such requirements and best practices, the CRES or
CRNGS provider shall immediately forward the warning or citation to the Commission’s
Service Monitoring and Enforcement Department."
Based on the directives identified above, PUCO also specifically granted the NRG Energy retail suppliers' application for a waiver of the prior prohibition on in-store marketing, to allow NRG's specific new contactless in-store marketing method. See details on NRG's new in-store marketing process here
PUCO said that, "The Commission continues to evaluate
when door-to-door solicitation of CRES and CRNGS will resume. This issue will be
addressed through subsequent entry."
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio voted at its meeting today to allow retail electric and natural gas suppliers to resume in-person marketing in storefronts and similar retail establishments (in-store marketing)
There will be conditions that will need to be satisfied for suppliers to engage in in-store marketing, Commissioners said. Among other things, marketers must comply with any policies adopted by the host store. The order does not authorize suppliers to market in-store without the permission and conditions of the host store.
Marketers must also comply with any state and/or local health orders or other similar directives. Marketers must also comply with existing statutes and PUCO rules concerning marketing
Additionally, in-person marketing, by appointment, with commercial and industrial customers will be permitted
The authorization for resumption of the activities described above will be effective immediately upon issuance of the order
A written order with more specific details and authorizations was not immediately available. This story will be updated once an order or other information becomes available. Continue to check this page and refresh for future developments.
The order did not address the current prohibition on door to door marketing, which remains in place.
PUCO Chairman Sam Randazzo said that the Commission is working to consider and address petitions from suppliers to resume door-to-door marketing as quickly as the PUC can be responsive while considering the unique circumstances presented by door-to-door versus the other forms of marketing