Retail Supplier Newly Seeks Partial Rescission Of Pennsylvania PUC Prohibition In-Person Marketing, Notes New Directives From Governor
October 22, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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NRG Energy, Inc. filed with the Pennsylvania PUC a new Petition for Partial Rescission of the PUC's March 16, 2020 Emergency Order prohibiting door to door and other in-person retail energy marketing during the pandemic.
As previously reported, the PUC has only allowed in-store (retails storefront, etc) in-person sales to resume. The PUC has rejected prior supplier petitions to allow door to door or by-appointment in-person marketing
NRG seeks relief from the portion of the Emergency Order that bans in person sales and marketing by energy suppliers at outdoor public events that are held in accordance with orders and directives issued by Governor Wolf and/or the Secretary of Health.
"Given the view of health officials that outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor gatherings, and in light of the Commonwealth’s recent amendment of orders addressing outdoor public gatherings to enable higher levels of attendance, this Petition is timely and should be granted," NRG said
"As public health issues are within the domain of the Governor and the Secretary of Health, and energy suppliers are permitted under their directives to conduct in-person sales at public outdoor events, the Commission should follow suit," NRG said
In addition to following health directives from the governor and state health agencies, NRG said that suppliers engaging in outdoor in-person marketing should be required to follow best practices that include the following:
• Steps to ensure sales agent and customer safety, such as temperature checks, use of facemasks, use of disposable stylus pens, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes;
• Steps to maintain six-foot social distancing requirements, including training and designations of such space; and
• Use of a 'contactless' enrollment process whenever possible.
NRG noted that, on October 6, 2020, Governor Wolf and Secretary Levine amended prior orders to allow for adjusted capacity to gathering limits while keeping in place the mitigation tools of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. Under the amended guidelines, occupancy at gatherings is based upon the maximum occupancy of the venue and is more lenient for outdoor events than indoor events.
Whereas the prior limit on outdoor gatherings in the green phase was 250, the new limits are 25% of maximum occupancy for venues holding 0-2,000 people, 20% for venues holding 2,001-10,000 people and 15% for venues holding over 10,000 people. Therefore, the upper limit on outdoor gatherings is now 7,500. Venues are subject to a number of other requirements, including the need for attendees to comply with 6-foot social distancing standards and to wear masks and to implement best practices such as timed entry, multiple entry and exit points, multiple restrooms and hygiene stations., NRG said
"Under the Governor’s Plan to Reopen Pennsylvania, NRG is permitted to attend outdoor public events under the expressed safeguards. However, Staff advises that it this is not permissible unless and until Commission further modifies its ex parte Emergency Order," NRG said