|Commission Issues Second Notice Order on Electric Marketing Standards|
The Commission issued a second Notice Order in its rulemaking to consider revisions to electric marketing standards. The Commission considered initial and reply comments on its first Notice Order, but did not adopt many modifications to the first Notice Order. In the Second Notice Order the Commission determined:
1) Door-to-door solicitation requirements should be expanded to include all in-person solicitations. In-person solicitations leading to enrollment require both a Letter of Agency and a third-party verification. The Commission did decline to adopt requirements that in-person solicitations be subject to audio or video recording. While requiring background checks be performed, the Commission declined to specify what type of entity must perform the background check. The Commission modified timing requirements applicable to in-person solicitations such that (in the absence of local ordinances or regulations) they must be conducted at residential dwellings between 9AM and 7PM, or civil dusk, whichever is earlier.
3) Advance notice requirements for variable rate products were adopted. The Commission distinguished dynamic or time-of-use rates derived from publically available indexes in the disclosure requirements. Historical RES rates for variable or time-of-use products for a one-year period must be disclosed on RES websites and toll free numbers. Block time-of-use rates were exempted from the disclosure requirements.
4) Staff must convene annual workshops of stakeholders to create RES agent training that is compliant with Commission rules for incorporation into individual RES training programs.
5) When a renewal offer is made to a customer, if the new contract terms differ from the existing contract, the RES must include a uniform disclosure statement that identifies the terms and provide a side-by-side comparison of the material changes. For automatic renewals, in addition to the written notices required, customers must receive notice of the renewal through a phone call, and a second call, if the first call does not reach a person or answering service.
6) Accelerated switching is outside of the scope of this proceeding but should be pursued in the open Notice of Inquiry on retail electric market issues.
Next, the proposed rule amendments adopted by the Commission in the second Notice Order will be submitted to the Secretary of State to begin the second notice period. The full texts of the Second Notice Order and Appendices are available on the NEM Website.