Office Of Consumer Advocate Does Not Oppose Retail Supplier's Sought Partial Rescission Of Order Prohibiting In-Person Marketing, Subject To Conditions
November 3, 2020 Email This Story Copyright 2010-20 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate filed comments at the Pennsylvania PUC stating that, subject to conditions, the OCA does not oppose the petition of NRG Energy, Inc. for partial rescission of the PUC's March 16, 2020 Emergency Order establishing moratorium on in-person sales and marketing
As exclusively first reported by EnergyChoiceMatters.com, NRG has sought 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.
NRG had 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. "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 had said
As noted by OCA, NRG also proposes that suppliers must take: (1) steps to ensure sales agent and
customer safety, such as temperature checks, use of face masks, use of disposable stylus pens,
hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes; (2) steps to maintain six-foot social distancing requirements,
including training and designations of such space; and (3) use of a 'contactless' enrollment process
"In consideration of the Governor's new guidelines for outdoor events, subject to certain
conditions, the OCA does not oppose NRG's limited proposal to allow for in person marketing at
outdoor events," OCA said
The OCA recommended that the Commission include in its Order the conditions
set forth by NRG, and further require the following:
• To the extent that the Governor and/or the Department of Health issue additional
subsequent guidelines, NRG must adhere to those directives at any outdoor public
• NRG must adhere to any restrictions or safety protocols set forth by the Pennsylvania
Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) and any
modifications to those safety protocols.
• NRG must adhere to any additional safety protocols established by the outdoor venue.
• If the Governor or Department of Health re-impose restrictions on outdoor events that
limit outdoor events, or impose new restrictions on outdoor events, NRG must immediately cease marketing at outdoor events, notify the Commission and seek
further guidance as to the status of marketing at outdoor events.
• To the extent that the Commission grants NRG's request, and applies the Partial
Rescission to any other NRG affiliates and/or retail suppliers, the same restrictions
• The further reporting described below should be required on a routine basis.
The OCA noted that NRG has proposed that the Company will notify Commission Staff of its intent
to participate in marketing and retail activities at the outdoor events. "The
Commission should ensure that it receives adequate information in these reports in a timely manner
to properly oversee these activities. At a minimum, the Commission should be provided with
documentation specifically indicating the name of the supplier, date, time, and address of the
outdoor event at least three days before the outdoor event. The Commission should also be
provided documentation of NRG's safety protocols for both employees and attendees on a
continuing basis to ensure safe operation and to ensure compliance with the currently effective
safety protocols," OCA said