November 25, 2020
Proposed Legislation to Auto-Enroll Customers into a 7-Year Community Choice Energy Pilot Program Without Consent
(Harrisburg, PA) November 25, 2020 – The Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA), the nation’s leading trade association representing competitive retail energy suppliers, wants residents in Montgomery County, Maryland to know their right to choose their own energy supplier could be eliminated if Montgomery County MC 17-21 passes.
The bill, as currently written, would affect more than one million residents in Montgomery County. The proposed legislation would automatically opt customers into a “Community Choice Energy Pilot Program” obligating them to participate for 7-years, without having made the ‘choice’ to do so.
“This bill is the definition of anti-consumer choice,” said Tony Cusati, Maryland State Chair for RESA. “It’s hard to understand why the government wants to sign up consumers to participate, essentially deciding for each of these families what they believe is in their best interest.”
Customers would be notified about the auto-enrollment; however, it is unclear what information will be provided, how it will be provided, or if it will include details on how to opt out. RESA is vehemently opposed supporting any legislation that enrolls anyone into a program they did not elect to participate in it.
“RESA and its members believe this program is equivalent to government slamming,” commented Cusati. “Requiring people to opt out of participating would bring undue hardship and confusion to customers - including the elderly. If this program is in the best interest of the community, allow residents to decide that for themselves and make it an opt-in program.”
When House Bill 561 was originally introduced it required at least 20% opt-in participation from Montgomery County residents to begin the pilot program. The latest version of the bill allows legislators to overcome that hurdle, and now puts consumers in a position of having to act to opt out.
The Retail Energy Supply Association is a broad and diverse group of retail energy suppliers who share the common vision that competitive retail energy markets deliver a more efficient, customer-oriented outcome than a regulated utility structure. RESA is devoted to working with all stakeholders to promote vibrant and sustainable competitive retail energy markets for residential, commercial and industrial consumers. For more information visit: resausa.org. Follow RESA on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.