New York PSC Issues Show Cause Order To ESCO
June 21, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The New York PSC issued an order to show cause to Sirrius Energy LLC (Sirrius or the Company) to address allegations from a Department of Public Service Staff Notice of Apparent Violation (NOAV) that alleged, "multiple apparent violations of the Uniform Business Practices (UBP) including unauthorized customer enrollments (slamming) and failure to abide by record retention requirements."
"Sirrius is ordered to show cause within 30 days, why Staff’s identification of apparent
violations are incorrect and why Sirrius’ eligibility to provide retail energy services as an ESCO in New York State should not be revoked; or alternatively, why other consequences as set forth in §2.D.6. of the UBP should not be imposed," the PSC ordered
The PSC in its order alleged, "From July 6, 2021, to October 15, 2021, the Department received 13 complaints against Sirrius. Each of these complaints alleged that Sirrius enrolled customer accounts without authorization. Sirrius was unable to provide any enrollment documentation in its QRS/SRS responses to the 13 complaints and claimed that the unauthorized enrollments were due to a “clerical error.” Thus, Sirrius was not able to engage with or refute the complaints."
With respect to these enrollments, the PSC alleged that Sirrius disclosed in answering the NOAV that, due to technical issues with a vendor, these 13 enrollments were erroneous, and that Sirrius had no accompanying enrollment documentation in its possession. As alleged by the PSC, "Sirrius further admitted that no agent information or TPVs existed for these 13 enrollments. Sirrius acknowledged this lack of documentation by fully refunding 11 of the accounts that had been charged for commodity service by the Company."
The PSC Staff alleged that in discussions with DPS Staff, Sirrius was unable to confirm exactly when the technical issues with the vendor began, nor how many of its customers may have been enrolled in error
The PSC further alleged, that in response to additional DPS Staff inquiries, "Sirrius stated that due to its severed relationship with its vendor, and Sirrius’ failure to retain independent records of its own, the Company was unable to locate enrollment documentation for the remaining 90% of its customers [after an earlier random 10% sample], or web enrollment records for 100% of its customers."
The PSC further alleged, "As requested by the Department, Sirrius provided sales agreements for the random sample of 10% of its customers. Staff closely analyzed these agreements and observed that all of the 109 sales agreements violated the UBP because they contained no pricing information or term length, which are required to be on electronic customer agreements."
As alleged by the PSC, Sirrius stated that Sirrius mistakenly believed the vendor was both sending out customer “welcome packages,” as well as maintaining records of enrollment documentation. As alleged by the PSC, "Sirrius admitted to Staff that it did not independently retain records," or inquire about the vendor's recordkeeping practices.