ESCO Consumers Bill of Rights
Chapter 416 of the Laws of 2010, signed into law on August 13, 2010, amends the general business law (GBL) by adding a §349-d which specifies requirements energy service companies (ESCO) must comply with when marketing energy services, defined as natural gas or electricity, to residential customers and/or through door to door sales and required that the Public Service Commission develop an ESCO Consumers Bill of Rights (ECBR). The following is the December 17, 2010 Commission Order, the Revised Uniform Business Practices (UBP) and a red-lined version of the UBP, and the plain language version of the ESCO Consumers Bill of Rights in English and multiple languages .
UBP Section 5.B.4.b limits the amount of the termination fee the ESCO can assess the customer in the event the customer terminates a contract early. Specifically the UBP states: no agreement for the provision of energy by an ESCO shall require a termination or early cancellation fee in excess of either a) $100 for any contract with a remaining term of less than 12 months; or b) $200 for any contract with a remaining term of more than 12 months or; c) twice the estimated bill for energy services for an average month, provided that an estimate of an average monthly bill was provided to the customer when the offer was made by the ESCO along with the amount of any early termination fee. To calculate such average monthly bill, the ESCO may use an average of the customer’s actual usage for the previous twelve months or if such data is unavailable at the time the offer is made apply the usage for a typical customer in that service classification as reported by the distribution utility or the Commission, and multiply it by the ESCO’s estimate of the average annual rate that will be charged under the agreement.
Average Annual Usage by Customer Class and Utility.pdf
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