PUCO Orders Refunds and Fines For Two Retail Energy Providers



COLUMBUS, OHIO (May 18, 2022) – Today the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) adopted settlement agreements for two retail energy providers to resolve allegations of misleading marketing and enrollment practices.

Ambit

Ambit Northeast will pay a $20,000 civil forfeiture to the state of Ohio, implement a new enrollment auditing program, and hold additional employee training. Ambit has already refunded customers who were improperly enrolled any amounts paid above their local utility’s default rate.

On June 21, 2021, PUCO staff notified Ambit of a probable noncompliance with respect to its marketing and solicitation practices. In its notice, PUCO staff alleged that Ambit had enrolled customers without their consent. On February 16, 2022, PUCO staff and Ambit filed a settlement agreement to improve the supplier’s compliance with PUCO regulations.

Josco

Josco Energy USA will pay a $16,000 civil forfeiture to the state of Ohio, implement a new compliance plan for vendor screening and quality assurance, and provide sales call scripts to PUCO staff for review. Josco will also refund 215 customers any amounts paid above their local utility’s default rate.

On Nov. 4, 2021, PUCO staff notified Josco of a probable noncompliance with respect to record keeping, marketing and enrollment practices, and billing issues. Based on its investigation of consumer complaints, PUCO staff noted that recordings of sales calls did not match those received by customers, and that third-party verification call recordings that are designed to act as a quality control measure were falsified. On March 22, 2022, PUCO staff and Josco filed a settlement agreement to improve Josco’s compliance with PUCO regulations.

Video: Watch commissioners vote to approve stipulations

A copy of today’s Commission decisions is available on the PUCO website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov by clicking on the link to Docketing Information System and searching for case 22-128-EL-UNC (Ambit), 22-170-GE-UNC (Josco).