Enforcement Staff Tells Retail Suppliers That All Marketing Practices Should Be Brought Into Compliance "Immediately" In Light Of Recent Ruling On Entities Not Permitted To Enroll Customers
March 31, 2023 Email This Story Copyright 2010-21 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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The Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement (EOE) of the Connecticut PURA issued direction to all retail suppliers and aggregators that suppliers and aggregators should "immediately" bring their marketing into compliance with PURA's March 30 ruling which held that only entities licensed as suppliers or aggregators, or acting as a legal agent of a supplier or aggregator, may enroll a customer.
In brief, the ruling does not allow an entity which is compensated by a retail supplier to enroll a customer, unless the entity is acting as the supplier's legal agent, and the supplier conducts the required training and monitoring of the agent(s) as set forth in the Connecticut marketing rules and standards
An aggregator may not receive compensation from a supplier. PURA essentially indicated that if an entity represents solely customers, and is not compensated by a supplier, then such entity may potentially in the future be registered as an aggregator, even if the entity is not pooling customers' load in the traditional sense (PURA said that it would evaluate each aggregator application based on facts specific to the individual application). PURA agreed that, "if an entity represents customers ... then by definition the entity has gathered together customers for the purpose of negotiating their purchase of supply," which is the definition of aggregator under statute
Still, traditional brokers who are compensated by suppliers will now only be able to "enroll" customers if they act as agents of the supplier and comply with the requirements for supplier agents
PURA had stated in its March 30 ruling, "To the extent an entity other than a licensed electric supplier, registered aggregator, or an agent of either a licensed electric supplier or registered aggregator, is enrolling customers with a licensed electric supplier, the Authority may issue a notice of violation for violations of Title 16, regulations, or orders of the Authority."
EOE in its March 31 notice to suppliers said, "EOE informs all suppliers and aggregators that they must ensure any entity from which they accept an enrollment is their agent or an aggregator and not an unregulated third party, and should bring all marketing practices into compliance immediately."
EOE's full notice to suppliers issued on March 31 is as follows:
"On March 30, 2023, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a ruling on Motion No. 16, clarifying that suppliers and aggregators may not accept enrollments from entities that are not their agents, or in the case of a supplier, from a registered aggregator. The Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement (EOE) has reason to believe some suppliers and aggregators might have been accepting enrollments from entities that were not their agents (for example, enrollments through third-party websites that were not agents of the supplier or aggregator). EOE informs all suppliers and aggregators that they must ensure any entity from which they accept an enrollment is their agent or an aggregator and not an unregulated third party, and should bring all marketing practices into compliance immediately. Going forward, EOE will ensure that suppliers and aggregators are complying with the law as clarified, and will bring action against any supplier or aggregator that it finds violating the law in the future."