The Delaware Commission on November 1, 2016, approved for publication and comment new consumer protection rules that largely resemble the rules that were published in October and which we blogged about here. We expect the newly-approved rules to appear in the December 1, 2016 Delaware Register, followed by a comment period. This marks the near-end of a proceeding that has lasted for more than four years.
The primary stakeholders in the proceeding had agreed to certain modifications to the version of the rules published in October, but two non-consensus issues remained for the Commission’s consideration. The two issues involved the length of the rescission period and issues pertaining to the customer lists that the utility, Delmarva Power, provides to licensed retail suppliers. The Commission ruled on those matters on November 1, and a written, formal order is expected at the Commission’s November 15 meeting.
The newly-approved rules are a total re-write of Delaware’s current rules. They include numerous protections for consumers and include rules for suppliers who want to sell electricity to Delaware customers. The rules will require suppliers to provide specific information to customers during the marketing and enrollment processes to ensure that customers fully understand the electricity products they are considering. The rules also obligate suppliers to provide information to current customers during at certain times during the contractual relationship. Not only that, but the rules to into great detail concerning marketing channels such as door-to-door and telemarketing, as well as other matters.
Once published, there will be a comment period and we expect the rules to become final at some point in the first quarter of 2017. Our firm has represented the Retail Energy Supply Association in this proceeding. If you want further information on the proposed Delaware rules or have questions about retail energy competition and consumer protection, call one of our energy regulations lawyers.