CHICAGO, September 14, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Alternative electricity supplier Star Energy Partners LLC to pay a $ 300,000 settlement for alleged deceptive marketing practices and has agreed to cease presenting its products or listing customers in Illinois during two years. The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approved the settlement, which was negotiated by consumer advocates, including the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) for utility oversight.
Star Energy has also agreed to a re-engagement plan that requires the supplier to submit its marketing plan, policies and procedures to the ICC before re-entering the market, CUB said on Tuesday.
Of $ 300,000, $ 275,000 will be reimbursed to current and former Star Energy residential customers registered between May 1, 2018 and 25 october 2018. The rebate amount per customer will be determined per kWh, by multiplying the qualifying customer’s usage during the period by the rebate amount per kWh. As part of the deal, the company will hire a settlement administrator to ensure reimbursement checks are issued to customers on a timely basis.
Current and former customers who have questions about the settlement should call the company at 1-855-427-7827.
The rest $ 25,000 will be referred to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP, which provides assistance to consumers who are struggling to pay their energy bills.
“We hope that this settlement will provide some relief to customers who have registered with the supplier under false pretenses,” said CUB’s general counsel. Julie soderna noted.
Testimonies in the case led ICC investigators to believe that Star was using the ComEd utility’s name and logo in a deceptive manner and had not properly trained its agents.
“At CUB, we’ve heard a lot of sad stories from people with limited incomes, some of whom end up paying double or even triple what they should have to keep the lights on,” Soderna said. . “Victories like this motivate us to hold suppliers accountable for unethical sales tactics. We look forward to working with the ICC, the Attorney General Kwame Raoul and other advocates to continue to protect consumers from scams. “
Under a similar settlement earlier this year, Great American Power paid $ 325,000 after allegedly failing to comply with state regulations governing alternative providers. The supplier has also agreed to cease marketing its products and to enroll customers in Illinois for five years. Since 2015, Illinois electricity consumers lost almost $ 1.5 billion to alternative suppliers.
CUB is Illinois’ main non-profit public service watchdog. Created by the Illinois legislature, CUB opened in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small business customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $ 20 billion by helping to block rate hikes, secure repayments, and fight for clean, low-cost energy. For more information, call the CUB Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its award-winning website, www.CitizensUtilityBoard.org.
SOURCE Citizens Utility Board