Texas Retail Provider To Pay $100,000 Under Settlement With PUCT Staff
July 22, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Reliant Energy Retail Services, LLC would pay $100,000 under a settlement with Staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to resolve alleged violations of 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) § 25.474, concerning Reliant's alleged failure to maintain and produce authorization of verification, as well as its alleged failure to energize customers on the agreed approximate start dates, resulting in loss of service.
Reliant provided the following statement to EnergyChoiceMatters.com concerning the settlement:
"Reliant and the Public Utility Commission of Texas have entered into an agreement for issues we identified in the first half of 2019 regarding authorization, verification and energizing customers. With a strong history of compliance and delivering exceptional customer experience, we have worked diligently to address the root causes to prevent future issues. We look forward to continuing to provide reliable service that we, and our fellow Texans, expect of us."
-- Statement from Reliant
16 TAC § 25.474(e)(6) requires a REP to obtain verification of authorization as part of the written enrollment process.
The settlement states that Reliant utilized a third party vendor to enroll customers at storefront or kiosk locations.
The settlement states that, for the months of April and May 2019, Reliant, through its third-party vendor, submitted switches for 292 customers for which Reliant was unable to produce records confirming that Reliant obtained verification of authorization to the switch.
Under 16 TAC 25.474(k), a REP shall submit a move-in or a switch request to the registration agent so that the move-in or switch will be processed on the approximate scheduled date agreed to by the applicant.
The settlement states that, "For the period of January 1, 2019 to July 1,2019, Reliant identified 33 instances in which a customer was unable to be energized on the agreed move-in or switch date due to either an agent error or system issue."
The settlement states that, of the 33 instances referenced above, 28 customers experienced a loss of electric service for some period of time as a result.
The settlement states, "In order to prevent future occurrences of the above stated violations, Reliant made changes to its processes used by sales representatives enrolling customers at storefront or kiosk locations to ensure that Reliant obtains and retains the required records confirming that Reliant obtained verification of authorization for the switch. Reliant also regularly conducts agent training to ensure that customer information (e.g., premise location for move-in and switches) is properly entered into the system so that the appropriate transactions can be sent to the market to timely and accurately process those requests."