Electric customers get some new protections

The CAPP blog (Cities Aggregation Power Project) reports today on the Public Utility Commission approving new electricity consumer protection rules today.
Among the issues addressed: printing contract expiration dates on bills so customers know when they might lose a particular rate. Some retail electric providers didn’t want to put the actual date while the PUC staff and consumer groups argued that the law that led to the new rules mandated the exact termination date. Using anything else would add to customer confusion.
What resulted was a compromise:

“The three PUC commissioners on Friday agreed to give REPs the option of either printing a specific termination date, or of using a more general description of the end date. However, those REPs opting for the broader description also face a new requirement that they waive early termination penalties for up to 60 days before a contract expires, as opposed to the 14 days currently in rules.

This is an issue we’ve had readers write to us about in the past. If this is applied properly, customers should now be able to set up a new contract with a new provider the month the old contract expires wihtout having to worry about what meter reading schedule they’re on.

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