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PURA Approves Settlement Agreement with Third-Party Electric Supplier Over Alleged Marketing Violations

Deal orders $500,000 contribution to reduce hardship arrearagessuspends supplier’s license for six years

(New Britain, CT – November 17, 2021) – Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) today approved a settlement agreement negotiated by state officials that requires Clearview Electric Inc. (Clearview or Company) to pay $500,000, voluntarily withdraw from the Connecticut electric supplier market for six years, and reimburse certain customers in resolution of claims that the Company violated electric supplier marketing laws.

The PURA commissioners today issued motion ruling from the Authority’s Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement (EOE), which requested approval of a settlement agreement in Docket No. 07-08-17Application of Clearview Electric Inc. for an Electric Supplier License, that EOE, the Office of Consumer Counsel, the Office of the Attorney General, and Clearview (settling parties) negotiated to resolve issues raised against the Company.

Under the settlement, Clearview agrees to:

  • Pay $500,000 toward non-medical hardship customer arrearages, to the benefit of all customers of Eversource Energy and The United Illuminating Company;

  • Voluntarily withdraw from the Connecticut electric supplier market for six years;

  • Provide advance notice to PURA if and when it seeks to re-enter the Connecticut market;

  • Increased regulatory oversight if and when it begins marketing to Connecticut customers again; and

  • Reimburse customers enrolled through certain third-party verificationthe difference between what they paid Clearview and the applicable standard service rate for the length of the enrollment with the Company.

Approval of the settlement agreement comes two months after PURA issued a Notice of Violation and Assessment of Civil Penalty(NOV) against Clearview in which it stated it had reason to believe the Company violated Connecticut’s electric supplier marketing laws. To resolve the NOV, the settling parties in September and October 2021 negotiated comprehensive settlement of the issues. The settling parties reached an agreement in principle on the settlement terms on Oct. 18, 2021, and submitted the settlement agreement to PURA for approval on Nov8, 2021.

The resolution of Clearview’s alleged violations marks another significant contribution from EOE, which has led enforcement of more than $1.73 million in electric supplier settlement payments and more than $52,000 in restitution credits to customers since it commenced operations in July 2020.

“In just one short year since its inception, the Authority’s Office of Education, Outreach, and Enforcement has successfully executed on its multi-part mission, yielding tangible relief for Connecticut customers harmed by deceptive marketing practices,” said PURA Chairman Marissa P. Gillett. “As EOE’s momentum continues to build, ratepayers can be assured that Authority orders will be enforced on a consistent basis moving forward. Equal resources will be devoted to education and outreach efforts as well, to ensure that the programs and decisions codified by the Authority are meaningfully implemented.”

EOE milestones, operations

Comprised of three unitsincluding licensing and certification, mediation and enforcement, and education and outreachEOE plays a critical role in facilitating enforcement actions regarding electric suppliers accused of violating various licensing laws.

In July, EOE led negotiations on a settlement agreement between state officials and Mega Energy of New England LLC to resolve claims that the company’s marketing contained unfair or deceptive marketing practices. Mega agreed to pay a $250,000 fine and at least $47,000 in customer restitution credits as part of the settlement. It also agreed to voluntarily, permanently withdraw from the Connecticut residential electric supplier market.

Earlier this year, the office also successfully resolved allegations against Town Square Energy LLC after customers accused the company of various marketing violations. This process led to an approved Assurance of Voluntary Compliance in which the company agreeto cease all in-person marketing for 15 months and to pay a $400,000 penalty to nonprofit organization Operation Fuel, which offers energy assistance programs to ratepayers.

In another proceeding, EOE staff reviewed calls submitted by the Avangrid companies (UI, CNG, SCG), Eversource, Yankee Gasand The Connecticut Water Company and found numerous instances where the companies’ customer service representatives failed to offer the proper resources for customers to enroll in COVID-19 payment plans. These violations led to enforcement actions in which the Authority ordered the companies to pay thousands of dollars in fines.

Further, EOE has re-committed staffing resources to enhance outreach services by leading four 100-day sprints focused on removing barriers to energy affordability and established working groups to improve interconnection guidelines and technical criteria for the Authority’s Equitable Modern Grid initiative.

The office is also focused on providing relevant educational materials for PURA’s investigation into redesigning electric bill formats for Eversource and UI customers. Daily operations also include fielding customer inquiries, mediating disputes, and processing licenses and registrations. In 15 months of operation, EOE has fielded more than 5,500 complaints and fully processed 655 applications and licenses.



For Immediate Release: November 17, 2021

Contact: Taren O’Connor

Joe Cooper