HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) – Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced a $4.5 million settlement on Thursday with an electric supplier to resolve allegations of deceptive marketing tactics.
Jepsen’s office received multiple complaints from consumers alleging Energy Plus Holdings LLC paid higher rates than the standard service rate and had difficulty obtaining information about variable rates from the company. The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will receive $4.5 million for consumer assistance and education, in addition to enforcement activity related to third-party electric suppliers, if the authority approves the settlement.
“With this settlement, we are agreeing to disagree with the company regarding any finding of fault in its past behavior,” Jepsen said. “Going forward, Energy Plus will be subject to the new laws governing all electric suppliers that do business in the state of Connecticut that the legislature passed this year as well as the new regulations that PURA will develop.”
Under legislation passed earlier this month by the General Assembly, funds from the proposed settlement would be deposited into a separate, non-lapsing account to fund electric supplier enforcement and education activities by PURA.
In 2012, Jepsen alleged that solicitations made by Energy Plus made it seem like consumers would receive benefits in addition to competitive electricity prices.
“The company has been acquired by a new owner who has undertaken efforts to improve marketing practices,” Jepsen said. “It is appropriate to settle at this time not only because past circumstances have changed, but also because the agreement advances a vital consumer protection mission into the future: helping to enhance the ability of PURA to address abuses in the electric supplier market.”