Illinois sets new sales, marketing rules for retail electric suppliers

Published on May 04, 2018 by Dave Kovaleski

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The state of Illinois has imposed new sales and marketing rules on retail electric suppliers seeking to solicit customers in the state.

The rules were changed and adopted by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to ensure consumers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision when choosing a retail electric supplier (RES).

“The ICC is committed to protecting consumers in our competitive energy marketplace. Whether it is door-to-door or a phone solicitation, RES companies, and their agents must now adhere to strict new guidelines to ensure potential customers understand that they are engaging in a sales transaction and have all the information they need to make a well-educated decision,” ICC Executive Director Cholly Smith said.

To conform with the new rules, RES agents must use their own company name and not represent themselves as the utility or a government agency when approaching customers. Further, identification badges must be visible to the consumer.

Also, agents must provide consumers with a disclosure statement that clearly explains prices and fees for electric service, the length of contract, the terms of the rate, the customer’s right to cancel, and any termination fees.

Door-to-door agents must receive additional training, pass a criminal background check, and be adequately monitored. Sales calls that last longer than two-minutes must be recorded and saved by the company. The recordings will help the ICC investigate consumer complaints. In addition, customers must be notified about upcoming rate changes or if a contract is nearing expiration or renewal. Finally, company information must be made available online.