Texas Retail Provider Enters Settlement With PUC Staff
May 9, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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Titan Gas, LLC d/b/a CleanSky Energy (CleanSky) would pay $15,000 under a settlement with Staff of the Public Utility Commission of Texas to resolve alleged violations of 16 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §§ 25.475 and 25.485 due to the alleged presence of an unused mandatory arbitration clause in residential and small commercial contracts
Under 16 TAC § 25.485(c), a REP’s TOS shall not require a residential or small commercial customer to engage in alternative dispute resolution, including requiring complaints to be submitted to arbitration or mediation by third parties.
The settlement states, "Commission Staff is aware that, since February 2020, CleanSky’s residential and small commercial TOS included the following language under a section titled Mandatory Arbitration: 'Any claim, dispute or controversy, regarding any contract, tort, statute, or otherwise ('Claim'), arising out of or relating to this Agreement or the relationships among the parties hereto shall be resolved by one arbitrator through binding arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association ('AAA') under the AAA Commercial or Consumer rules, as applicable, in effect at the time the Claim is filed ('AAA Rules').'"
The settlement states that CleanSky asserts the following facts:
a. "Despite the arbitration clause included in CleanSky’s residential and small commercial TOS from February 2020 to March 15, 2022, CleanSky never actually required any residential or small commercial customer to pursue a dispute through alternative dispute resolution. "
b. "CleanSky never received any complaints from customers about the TOS language at issue in this proceeding. "
c. "CleanSky’s inclusion of the alternative dispute resolution clause in its TOS was the result of oversight and was not a willful violation of PURA or the Commission’s customer protection rules. "
d. "CleanSky promptly changed the TOS to resolve the language at issue in its TOS once informed of Commission Staff’s investigation of this matter, prior to this settlement being reached. "
The settlement states that, as of March 15, 2022, CleanSky has revised its residential and small commercial terms of service (TOS) forms to resolve the alleged violations described in the settlement
The settlement states that, "This agreement represents a compromise of claims and allegations, and the execution of this agreement does not admit the truth or accuracy of any such disputed claims."