Regulator Requires Retail Supplier To Pay Restitution To Customers Dropped To Default Service
Regulator's Staff Seeks Penalty, Alleging Restitution Not Paid By Deadline
June 30, 2022 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Connecticut PURA recently adopted a final order requiring Sunwave Gas & Power CT, Inc. to provide restitution to customers dropped to default service as a result of Sunwave's previously reported suspension at ISO New England earlier this year
Specifically, under PURA's order from June 8, "Sunwave is
required to reimburse customers that the EDCs returned to standard service who
were being served by Sunwave on contracts with rates lower than the current
standard service rate in the applicable service territory an amount equal to $20 per
month for the remainder of the contract term for residential customers, and $40
per month for the remainder of the contract term for non-residential customers[.]"
PURA said that data, "shows that in Eversource’s
service territory, 2,309 of 2,315 Sunwave residential customers were contracted at rates
less than standard service, many over four cents less. Of the 581 Eversource business
customers contracted with Sunwave, 369 were paying less than standard service. The
same can be found in The United Illuminating Company (UI) service territory: of 607
residential customers, 518 were being served by rates less than standard service; and of
314 business customers, 226 were being served by rates less than standard service.
Sunwave’s abrupt exit from the market, failure to meet its licensing requirements, and
failure to properly notify customers will cause these customers substantial monetary
harm. Many of Sunwave’s rates ranged between 7 and 9 cents per kWh. A review of
EnergizeCT.com shows that suppliers currently are not offering rates in that price range."
PURA in its June 8 order said that, "Sunwave was aware its standing with ISO-NE was in jeopardy and neither
resolved the issue nor informed the Authority of it. Further, with knowledge it could no
longer legally serve customers, Sunwave then failed to act appropriately to notify the
Authority or its customers and failed to act to return its customers to standard service.
Based on Sunwave’s actions, the Authority finds Sunwave did not make a good faith effort
to achieve compliance and did not demonstrate managerial capability, in both allowing
itself to be suspended by ISO-NE and in how it addressed the issue thereafter."
PURA's June 8 order also suspended Sunwave's supplier license for five years
On June 30, PURA's Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement (EOE) sought the issuance of a further Notice of Violation (NOV) against Sunwave, as EOE alleged, "Based on information and belief, it appears to EOE that Sunwave failed to comply with orders in the Authority’s June 8, 2022 Decision and continues to fail to demonstrate managerial capabilities."
EOE alleged, "The Authority has reason to believe that Sunwave has ignored Order No. 2 contained in the Authority’s Decision and is flagrantly refusing to provide the ordered restitution to customers. This is a grave violation, now being added to the list of other violations committed by Sunwave in 2022."
EOE sought imposition of a $1 million penalty, and revocation of Sunwave's license
To the extent PURA formally issues the sought NOV, Sunwave would have the right to contest the NOV and have a hearing on the matter.