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Updated: Illinois Commission Says It Did Not Dispose Of Retail Supplier Petitions To Resume In-Person Marketing In Prior Order Denying Staff Motion To Dissolve

January 7, 2021

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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Updated, 1/7

The Illinois Commerce Commission has issued a written order granting the petition of various NRG Energy retail electric suppliers to resume marketing in storefronts and similar retail establishments, as first reported in our original story below from January 6

Notable from the written order is that the ICC also confirmed that when, on November 5, it denied a Staff motion to dissolve the ICC's standing order prohibiting in-person marketing, such action by the ICC did not address or otherwise dispose of various petitions from retail suppliers for modification of the prohibition order for various limited circumstances (such as the petition from NRG which was granted in the instant order)

As previously reported, the Illinois Attorney General and Citizens Utility Board had argued that, in denying the Staff motion to dissolve, the ICC had also denied various petitions from retail suppliers for the resumption of various forms of in-person marketing and had denied a related proposed interim order that would have granted Staff's motion to dissolve and would have disposed of the individual supplier petitions as moot, in light of the proposed adoption of Staff's broader motion to dissolve.

The ICC denied this argument from the AG and CUB

"The Commission agrees with Vistra and Reliant that Reliant’s Motion for Modification was not directly before the Commission on November 5, 2020 and was not considered or disposed of when the Commission denied Staff’s Motion to Dissolve. As the Chairman stated, the Commission 'would not be voting on the Interim Order.' The language in the November 5, 2020 Proposed Interim Order that addressed all other pending motions (including Reliant’s Motion for Modification) was not adopted, because the Commission only denied Staff’s Motion to Dissolve," the ICC said

"The Commission distinguishes Staff’s Motion to Dissolve from the Joint Movants’ request here in that Staff’s Motion to Dissolve sought blanket permission for all ARES to resume in-person solicitation in any capacity. This Interim Order and Reliant’s commitments, as described in detail above, are specific to Joint Movants in one limited type of in-store solicitation, which is consistent with the rules and regulations of IDPH and DCEO during this public health crisis," the ICC said

See our original story below for more details on the January 6 order granting the NRG suppliers' petition

Earlier (1/6):

Regulator Allows Specific Retail Suppliers To Resume In-Store Marketing, Subject To Conditions

The Illinois Commerce Commission today adopted an interim order allowing several NRG Energy retail electric suppliers to resume in-person marketing at storefronts and similar retail establishments

A written order was not immediately available, but from the ICC's discussion at its meeting today, the order will largely track a proposed order issued in December, which had first reported on in our story here

Notably, the relief granted by the ICC only applies to several NRG retail suppliers which had filed a petition for the resumption of in-store marketing, including Reliant Energy Northeast LLC, Green Mountain Energy Company, and Energy Plus Holdings LLC, and not all retail suppliers in the state.

Subject to conditions, the order allows the resumption of in-store marketing by the NRG suppliers in those areas of Illinois in "Phase 4" of the state's Restore Illinois re-opening program. The relief only applies to those areas of the State that remain in Phase 4 status, and if the State as a whole or any area reverts to Phase 3 or lower, or if any municipality determines that Phase 4 or similar retail guidelines cannot be maintained consistent with public safety, the NRG suppliers must immediately cease in-store solicitations

Under the order, the NRG suppliers, not third-party vendors or retail partners, are entirely responsible for ensuring NRG's agents' compliance with public health requirements and guidelines

The NRG suppliers are required to follow applicable health and safety measures from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, as well as any local county or municipal ordinances or rules, and also any requirements adopted by their retail establishment partners. The NRG suppliers will not be "held harmless" for agents' failure to comply with any applicable health rules

The NRG suppliers shall also monitor agents to ensure that the customary electric marketing standards under Part 412 are met.

In-person solicitation of all other types, specifically including door-to-door solicitations, remain prohibited until further order of the Commission

Docket 20-0310

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