Retail Suppliers Petition Pennsylvania PUC To Allow Door-to-Door Sales With "Touchless" Enrollment Process
June 16, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy Pennsylvania LLC and SFE Energy Pennsylvania, Inc. (collectively, "StateWise") submitted to the Pennsylvania PUC a
Petition for Partial Rescission, or in the alternative, Petition for Partial Waiver, of the
Commission’s March 16, 2020 Emergency Order which prohibited door-to-door marketing by retail energy suppliers
"By this Petition, StateWise seeks relief from the Emergency Order such
that it may commence door-to-door marketing activities, consistent with the Marketing
Proposal described herein, in counties which are in the 'yellow' or 'green' phase
under the Governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania plan," StateWise said
StateWise's proposed "touchless" enrollment process described in the Pennsylvania petition is substantially similar to a process that it had described in a similar petition from StateWise before the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (see more detailed specifics in our story here). Highlights are included below.
StateWise said that, "In light of changed circumstances that have arisen subsequent to the
Commission’s Emergency Order, including the fact that nearly 70% of Pennsylvania
counties are in the 'green' phase, and no counties remain in the 'red' phase, and in
light of StateWise’s extraordinary protective measures set forth in its Marketing Plan,
StateWise respectfully seeks expedited and immediate relief from the Emergency Order
such that it may commence door-to-door marketing consistent with the Marketing Plan
only in those counties which are in the 'yellow' or 'green' phase."
Specifically, StateWise said that, as of June 12, 2020, almost 70% of the state of Pennsylvania is in a 'green'
phase -- 46 counties in total -- while only 21 remain in the yellow phase. There are no
counties in the red phase.
StateWise said that, "In counties that are designated as green or yellow, all businesses, except
those that are specifically excluded in the Governor’s Process to Reopen Pennsylvania
Plan and the Governor’s and Secretary of Health’s orders, are permitted to conduct in-person
operations so long as they adhere to the Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of
Employees and the Public."
StateWise said that, "The only categories of businesses which are prohibited from resuming in-person
operations in yellow phase counties are indoor recreation; health and wellness
facilities; personal care services; entertainment; and indoor malls ('Prohibited Yellow
Phase Businesses'). Prohibited Yellow Phase Businesses include activities in which it is
difficult or impossible to practice social distancing and/or maintain necessary hygiene
standards given close personal contact and/or exchange of physical objects, such as
bowling, laser tag, arcades, gyms, massage therapy, casinos, and museums. However,
businesses that operate outdoors, such as golf, horse riding, rock climbing, among
others, are permitted to resume operations but may not operate indoor spaces for public
or visitor use other than restrooms and ticketing."
StateWise said that, "In counties that have been designated as green, all businesses (including
those restricted or prohibited in the yellow phase) are authorized to conduct in-person
operations as long as they follow PA DOH guidelines and applicable orders from the
Governor, which include occupancy limitations, disinfecting high-touch areas,
conducting temperature checks, advising persons that exhibit symptoms to stay home,
among other measures."
Concerning its proposed door to door process, StateWise said that it has developed, "a comprehensive touchless door-to-door
enrollment procedure which maintains social distance, avoids signing or exchanging
copies of sales agreements and other materials ('Touchless Enrollment')."
"The Touchless Enrollment process begins with a sales representative
approaching a potential customer’s door with ... PPE [Personal Protective Equipment, as more fully described in the petition], knocking or
ringing the doorbell, and then stepping back six feet from the door to wait for the
potential customer to approach," StateWise said
"To the extent the potential customer has a screen door or storm door
arrangement, sales representatives will be instructed and encouraged to conduct the
solicitation with those physical barriers in place and/or otherwise maintain six feet of
distance between any potential customer with whom the sales representative interacts," StateWise said
"At this time, StateWise will instruct and encourage sales representatives to
perform solicitations through storm or screen doors where applicable and feasible, and
prohibit its sales representatives from conducting door-to-door marketing indoors, such
as multi-dwelling units or apartment complexes, until further guidance from PA DOH
and/or the Commission. By virtue of such sales occurring outside and/or through a
customer’s window or screen, the door-to-door sales activity outlined in the Marketing
Proposal carries a lower public health risk than indoor customer interactions where
multiple patrons could be in close proximity in a confined space or indoors with poor
ventilation that traps and circulates contagions," StateWise said
StateWise said that a customer
may elect a 'touchless' signing process whereby the customer will receive either a
text/SMS or email prompting them to review and sign the agreement electronically on
their personal mobile device. StateWise said that, otherwise, a customer may elect to sign on the sales
representative’s electronic device after reviewing all of the agreement terms and
conditions. Customers must affirmatively scroll through the agreement, then click
'accept terms and conditions,' or otherwise to click 'decline' to reject the enrollment at
StateWise said that, immediately following completion of the Touchless Enrollment process,
the sales representative will leave the premises and then StateWise’s TPV vendor will initiate an outbound call to the customer’s phone number to perform a live TPV
consistent with 52 Pa. Code § 111.7.