(a) To protect a customer’s right to privacy from unwanted solicitation, each electric distribution company shall distribute to each customer a form approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority which the customer shall submit to the customer’s electric distribution company in a timely manner if the customer does not want the customer’s name, address, telephone number and rate class to be released to electric suppliers. Each electric distribution company shall make available to all electric suppliers customer names, addresses, telephone numbers, if known, and rate class, unless the electric distribution company has received a form from a customer requesting that such information not be released. Additional information about a customer for marketing purposes shall not be released to any electric supplier unless a customer consents to a release by one of the following: (1) An independent third-party telephone verification; (2) receipt of a written confirmation received in the mail from the customer after the customer has received an information package confirming any telephone agreement; (3) the customer signs a document fully explaining the nature and effect of the release; or (4) the customer’s consent is obtained through electronic means, including, but not limited to, a computer transaction.

Terms Used In Connecticut General Statutes 16-245o

  • Authority: means the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and "department" means the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
  • distribution company: means any person providing electric transmission or distribution services within the state, but does not include: (A) A private power producer, as defined in section 16-243b. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
  • Electric generation services: means electric energy, electric capacity or generation-related services. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
  • Electric supplier: means any person, including an electric aggregator or participating municipal electric utility that is licensed by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in accordance with section 16-245, that provides electric generation services to end use customers in the state using the transmission or distribution facilities of an electric distribution company, regardless of whether or not such person takes title to such generation services, but does not include: (A) A municipal electric utility established under chapter 101, other than a participating municipal electric utility. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
  • Generation entity or affiliate: means a corporate affiliate or a separate division of an electric distribution company that provides electric generation services. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1
  • Person: means an individual, business, firm, corporation, association, joint stock association, trust, partnership or limited liability company. See Connecticut General Statutes 16-1

(b) All electric suppliers shall have equal access to customer information required to be disclosed under subsection (a) of this section. No electric supplier shall have preferential access to historical distribution company customer usage data.

(c) No electric distribution company shall include in any bill or bill insert anything that directly or indirectly promotes a generation entity or affiliate of the electric distribution company. No electric supplier shall include a bill insert in an electric bill of an electric distribution company.

(d) All marketing information provided pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be formatted electronically by the electric distribution company in a form that is readily usable by standard commercial software packages. Updated lists shall be made available within a reasonable time, as determined by the authority, following a request by an electric supplier. Each electric supplier seeking the information shall pay a fee to the electric distribution company which reflects the incremental costs of formatting, sorting and distributing this information, together with related software changes. Customers shall be entitled to any available individual information about their loads or usage at no cost.

(e) On or before January 1, 2015, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall initiate a contested proceeding to develop a standard summary form of the material terms and conditions of the contract for electric generation services signed by a residential customer. Such form shall include, but not be limited to, the following: (1) A description of the rate the customer will be paying; (2) whether such rate is a fixed or variable rate; (3) the term and expiration date of such rate; (4) whether the contract will automatically renew; (5) a notice describing the customer’s right to cancel the service, as provided in this section; (6) information on air emissions and resource mix of generation facilities operated by and under long-term contract to the electric supplier; (7) the trade name of the electric supplier; (8) the toll-free telephone number for customer service of the electric supplier; (9) the Internet web site of the electric supplier; and (10) the toll-free telephone number for customer complaints of the authority.

(f) (1) Until the standard summary form described in subsection (e) of this section is developed, each electric supplier shall, prior to the initiation of electric generation services, provide the potential residential customer with a written notice describing the rates, information on air emissions and resource mix of generation facilities operated by and under long-term contract to the supplier, terms and conditions of the service, and a notice describing the customer’s right to cancel the service, as provided in this section. After development of such standard summary form, each electric supplier shall, prior to initiation of electric generation services, provide the potential residential customer with a completed standard summary form. Each electric supplier shall, prior to the initiation of electric generation services, provide the potential commercial or industrial customer with a written notice describing the rates, information on air emissions and resource mix of generation facilities operated by and under long-term contract to the supplier, terms and conditions of the service, and a notice describing the customer’s right to cancel the service, as provided in this section.

(2) No electric supplier shall provide electric generation services unless the customer has signed a service contract or consents to such services by one of the following: (A) An independent third-party telephone verification; (B) receipt of a written confirmation received in the mail from the customer after the customer has received an information package confirming any telephone agreement; (C) the customer signs a contract that conforms with the provisions of this section; or (D) the customer’s consent is obtained through electronic means, including, but not limited to, a computer transaction. Each electric supplier shall provide each customer with a demand of less than one hundred kilowatts, a written contract that conforms with the provisions of this section and maintain records of such signed service contract or consent to service for a period of not less than two years from the date of expiration of such contract, which records shall be provided to the authority or the customer upon request. Each contract for electric generation services shall contain all material terms of the agreement, a clear and conspicuous statement explaining the rates that such customer will be paying, including the circumstances under which the rates may change, a statement that provides specific directions to the customer as to how to compare the price term in the contract to the customer’s existing electric generation service charge on the electric bill and how long those rates are guaranteed. Such contract shall also include a clear and conspicuous statement providing the customer’s right to cancel such contract not later than three days after signature or receipt in accordance with the provisions of this subsection, describing under what circumstances, if any, the supplier may terminate the contract and describing any penalty for early termination of such contract. Each contract shall be signed by the customer, or otherwise agreed to in accordance with the provisions of this subsection. A customer who has a maximum demand of five hundred kilowatts or less shall, until midnight of the third business day after the latter of the day on which the customer enters into a service agreement or the day on which the customer receives the written contract from the electric supplier as provided in this section, have the right to cancel a contract for electric generation services entered into with an electric supplier.

(g) (1) Between thirty and sixty days, inclusive, prior to the expiration of a fixed price term for a residential customer, an electric supplier shall provide a written notice to such customer of any change to the customer’s electric generation price. Such residential customer shall select the method of written notice at the time the contract is signed or verified through third-party verification as described in subdivision (2) of subsection (f) of this section. Such selection shall include the option for written notice through United States mail, electronic mail, text message, an application on a cellular telephone or a third-party notification service approved by the authority. Such customer shall have the option to change the method of notification at any time during the contract.

(2) No electric supplier shall charge a residential customer month-to-month variable rates for electric generation services following the expiration of a contract entered into after June 3, 2014, without providing written notification to such residential customer forty-five days prior to the commencement of such month-to-month variable rates. Such notice shall include the highest and lowest electric generation service rate charged by such supplier as part of a variable rate offer in each of the preceding twelve months to any customer eligible for standard service. The residential customer shall select the method of written notification at the time the contract is signed or verified through third-party verification as described in subdivision (2) of subsection (f) of this section. Such selection shall include the option for written notice through United States mail, electronic mail, text messages, an application on a cellular telephone or a third-party notification service approved by the authority. Such customer shall have the option to change the method of notification at any time during the contract.

(3) No electric supplier shall charge an electric generation service rate to a residential customer that is twenty-five per cent more than the original contract price of a contract entered into after June 6, 2014, without notifying such customer of the rate change fifteen days before it takes effect, provided such notice shall only be required for the first instance such rate is twenty-five per cent more than the original contract price. After such one-time notice, no electric supplier shall charge an electric generation service rate to a residential customer that is twenty-five per cent more than the most recent notice of the rate change without notifying such customer of the rate change fifteen days before it takes effect. Any notification described in this subdivision shall be provided pursuant to the method agreed to by the customer in the contract and may include written notice through United States mail, electronic mail, text message, an application on a cellular telephone, or third-party notification service approved by the authority.

(4) On and after October 1, 2015, no electric supplier shall (A) enter into a contract to charge a residential customer a variable rate for electric generation services; or (B) automatically renew or cause to be automatically renewed a contract with a residential customer and, pursuant to such contract, charge such customer a variable rate for electric generation services.

(h) (1) Any third-party agent who contracts with or is otherwise compensated by an electric supplier to sell electric generation services shall be a legal agent of the electric supplier. No third-party agent may sell electric generation services on behalf of an electric supplier unless (A) the third-party agent is an employee or independent contractor of such electric supplier, and (B) the third-party agent has received appropriate training directly from such electric supplier.

(2) All sales and solicitations of electric generation services by an electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator to a customer with a maximum demand of one hundred kilowatts or less conducted and consummated entirely by mail, door-to-door sale, telephone or other electronic means, during a scheduled appointment at the premises of a customer or at a fair, trade or business show, convention or exposition in addition to complying with the provisions of subsection (e) of this section shall:

(A) For any sale or solicitation, including from any person representing such electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator (i) identify the person and the electric generation services company or companies the person represents; (ii) provide a statement that the person does not represent an electric distribution company; (iii) explain the purpose of the solicitation; and (iv) explain all rates, fees, variable charges and terms and conditions for the services provided; and

(B) For door-to-door sales to customers with a maximum demand of one hundred kilowatts, which shall include the sale of electric generation services in which the electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator solicits the sale and receives the customer’s agreement or offer to purchase at a place other than the seller’s place of business, be conducted (i) in accordance with any municipal and local ordinances regarding door-to-door solicitations, (ii) between the hours of ten o’clock a.m. and six o’clock p.m. unless the customer schedules an earlier or later appointment, and (iii) with both English and Spanish written materials available. Any representative of an electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator shall prominently display or wear a photo identification badge stating the name of such person’s employer or the electric supplier the person represents and shall not wear apparel, carry equipment or distribute materials that includes the logo or emblem of an electric distribution company or contains any language suggesting a relationship that does not exist with an electric distribution company, government agency or other supplier.

(3) No electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator shall (A) advertise or disclose the price of electricity to mislead a reasonable person into believing that the electric generation services portion of the bill will be the total bill amount for the delivery of electricity to the customer’s location, or (B) make any statement, oral or written, suggesting a prospective customer is required to choose a supplier. When advertising or disclosing the price for electricity, the electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator shall (i) disclose the electric distribution company’s current charges, including the competitive transition assessment and the systems benefits charge, for that customer class, and (ii) indicate, using at least a ten-point font size, in a conspicuous part of any advertisement or disclosure that includes an advertised price, (I) the expiration of such advertised price, and (II) any fixed or recurring charge, including, but not limited to, any minimum monthly charge.

(4) No entity, including an aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator, who sells or offers for sale any electric generation services for or on behalf of an electric supplier, shall engage in any deceptive acts or practices in the marketing, sale or solicitation of electric generation services.

(5) Each electric supplier shall disclose to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in a standardized format (A) the amount of additional renewable energy credits, if any, such supplier will purchase other than required credits, (B) where such additional credits are being sourced from, and (C) the types of renewable energy sources that will be purchased. Each electric supplier shall only advertise renewable energy credits purchased beyond those required pursuant to sections 16-245a and 16-243q and shall report to the authority the renewable energy sources of such credits and any changes to the types of renewable energy sources offered.

(6) Any electric supplier offering any services or products that contain renewable energy attributes other than the minimum renewable energy credits used for compliance with the renewable portfolio standards pursuant to section 16-245a shall disclose in each customer contract and marketing materials for each such service or product the renewable energy content of the product or service offering and shall make available, on the electric supplier’s Internet web site, information sufficient to substantiate the marketing claims about such content.

(7) (A) No contract for electric generation services by an electric supplier shall require a residential customer to pay any fee for termination or early cancellation of a contract in excess of fifty dollars, provided when an electric supplier offers a contract, it provides the residential customer an estimate of such customer’s average monthly bill, and provided further it shall not be considered a termination or early cancellation of a contract if a residential customer moves from one dwelling within the state and remains with the same electric supplier.

(B) If a residential customer does not have a contract for electric generation services with an electric supplier and is receiving a month-to-month variable rate from such supplier, there shall be no fee for termination or early cancellation.

(8) An electric supplier shall not make a material change in the terms or duration of any contract for the provision of electric generation services by an electric supplier without the express consent of the customer. Nothing in this subdivision shall restrict an electric supplier from renewing a contract by clearly informing the customer, in writing, not less than thirty days or more than sixty days before the renewal date, of the renewal terms, including a summary of any new or altered terms, and of the option not to accept the renewal offer, provided no fee pursuant to subdivision (7) of this subsection shall be charged to a customer who terminates or cancels such renewal not later than seven business days after receiving the first billing statement for the renewed contract.

(9) Each electric supplier shall file annually with the authority a list of any aggregator or agent working on behalf of such supplier.

(10) Each electric supplier shall develop and implement standards and qualifications for employees and third-party agents who are engaged in the sale or solicitation of electric generation services by such supplier.

(i) Each electric supplier, aggregator or agent of an electric supplier or aggregator shall comply with the provisions of the telemarketing regulations adopted pursuant to 15 USC 6102.

(j) Any violation of this section shall be deemed an unfair or deceptive trade practice under subsection (a) of section 42-110b. Any contract for electric generation services that the authority finds to be the product of unfair or deceptive marketing practices or in material violation of the provisions of this section shall be void and unenforceable. Any waiver of the provisions of this section by a customer of electric generation services shall be deemed void and unenforceable by the electric supplier.

(k) Any violation or failure to comply with any provision of this section shall be subject to (1) civil penalties by the authority in accordance with section 16-41, (2) the suspension or revocation of an electric supplier or aggregator’s license, or (3) a prohibition on accepting new customers following a hearing that is conducted as a contested case in accordance with chapter 54.

(l) (1) The authority may adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, to include, but not be limited to, abusive switching practices, solicitations and renewals by electric suppliers, provided the authority shall alter or repeal any relevant regulations in conjunction with the development and implementation of the standards and practices described in subdivision (2) of this subsection.

(2) On or before July 1, 2014, the authority shall initiate a contested proceeding to develop and implement, or cause to be implemented, standards relating to abusive switching practices, solicitations and renewals by electric suppliers, the hiring and training of sales representatives, door-to-door sales and telemarketing practices by electric suppliers. Such docket shall examine a disclosure statement for all electric suppliers to use on all promotional materials directed to residential customers that will direct consumers where they can find the highest and lowest electric generation service rate charged by such supplier as part of a variable rate offer in each of the preceding twelve months to any customer eligible for standard service. The authority shall issue a final decision on such docket not later than six months after its initiation.

(m) The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority may initiate a docket to review the feasibility, costs and benefits of placing on standard service all customers of all electric suppliers (1) who are hardship cases for purposes of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of section 16-262c, (2) having moneys due and owing deducted from such customers’ bills by the electric distribution company pursuant to subdivision (4) of subsection (b) of section 16-262c, (3) receiving other financial assistance from an electric distribution company, or (4) who are otherwise protected by law from shutoff of electricity services. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 16-245r, the authority may, in a final decision issued pursuant to this subsection, order all such customers to be placed on standard service. If the authority issues such an order, it shall reopen such docket not less than every two years.

(n) As used in this section, “residential customer” means a customer who contracts with an electric supplier for generation services at residential premises for domestic purposes only.

(o) On or before October 1, 2015, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall initiate a proceeding to develop recommendations and guidance regarding (1) what type of generation services rate structure is best suited for residential customers who allow a fixed contract with an electric supplier to expire and begin paying a month-to-month rate for generation services from such supplier; and (2) what change to the generation services rate and to the terms and conditions of such service that customers may experience after the expiration of a fixed contract when such customers begin paying a month-to-month rate. The authority shall report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, the findings of such proceeding to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy, on or before January 1, 2016.