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Retail Supplier To Pay $1.5 Million, Exit State's Market (Drop Customers To SOS) Under Settlement

Settlement Includes $100 Payments To Some Customers, Restitution To Others

October 12, 2022

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Verde Energy USA Inc. (Verde) would make a $1.5 million donation to the Connecticut utilities to offset hardship arrearages, provide $100 to certain customers, provide restitution to other customers, and exit Connecticut's electric market, under a settlement among Verde, the Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement (EOE) of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel

Verde provided the following statement concerning the matter:

"Verde Energy is pleased to have come to a swift resolution on the matter. We value and appreciate our time serving consumers in Connecticut with renewable energy."

--- Statement from Verde Energy USA Inc.

The settlement would resolve a previously issued Notice of Violation against Verde.

As more fully discussed in our prior story (click here), the NOV was originally seeking a $2 million penalty for alleged marketing violations.

Among other things, the NOV alleged that Verde’s marketing violated Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245o(h)(2)(A) in that it allegedly failed to explain or define terms, such as 'price protection,' 'benefits,' and 'program."

"The evidence indicates Verde does not define these terms used in its marketing and often uses these and other undefined terms in a misleading manner to imply they equate to lower rates, a state program, or a benefit available only to that customer," the NOV alleged

In seeking the NOV, EOE had alleged instances where the marketing rep working on behalf of Verde allegedly stated, "get you on a fixed [sic] that is significantly lower" or that Verde, "helps with the amount of money you are spending on the bill".

"These promises of savings were not genuine, as the agents in these marketing calls did not know what rate the customer was paying or what the standard service rate would be in the future," EOE had alleged

See our prior story here for full details on the alleged behavior

Under the settlement, Verde shall immediately voluntarily withdraw from the Connecticut electric supplier market for seven (7) years, returning its customers to default service

The settlement provides that Verde will send to the EDCs the funds to reimburse, in the form of a bill credit, all Verde Connecticut customers enrolled via telemarketing after May 1, 2019 for the difference between what they paid Verde and the applicable standard service rates for the length of the enrollment with Verde.

Additionally, Verde under the settlement agreed to send to the EDCs the funds to reimburse, in the form of a bill credit, all Connecticut customers Verde serves as of the date of the Settlement Agreement on a rate less than the current standard service rate a total of $100 per customer.

With respect to the $1.5 million payment, Verde agrees to pay the amount of one million five hundred thousand dollars ($1,500,000) to the electric distribution companies (the EDCs) indicated as a donation to reduce hardship arrearages. Verde shall divide payment as 80% ($1,200,000) to The Connecticut Light and Power Company d/b/a Eversource Energy and 20% ($300,000) to The United Illuminating Company

The settlement provides that, "This Settlement Agreement does not represent an admission or concession by Verde as to the claims, or facts or circumstances surrounding the claims, or proper disposition of any issue related to the NOV or this Settlement Agreement."

Docket No. 09-06-08


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