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Agency takes action against energy provider

4:43 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA/UPDATE) -- The Public Service Commission has filed a formal case to investigate Starion Energy.

The action comes after Norma Ortiz, the Legal Counsel for the Elderly, and dozens of District residents testified at a July hearing before the Commission.

They told how employees of Starion Energy approached them with a plan to cut their energy bills.

Instead, they say they were duped and that they bills tripled.

Out of the 22 customers to testify before the Public Service Commission, 21 complained about allegedly unlawful, misleading and deceptive sales practices of Starion.

Ms. Ortiz remembers the day when a man approached her with an offer to cut the costs to light, cool and power her through the seasons.

She says she listened, but did not authorize anyone to switch her service from PEPCO to the alternative provider, Starion Energy.

"What  happened to Ms. Ortiz is literally called slamming. It's a process known in the energy market when someone is switched to a different energy provider without their knowledge or consent," says Rebekah Mason. 

Mason is an attorney with the Legal Counsel for the Elderly based in D.C.

Starion Energy is licensed to provide electricity thanks to deregulation.

But a legal order filed by the District's Public Service Commission says it will conduct an evidentiary hearing into the business practices of Starion.

The PSC also filed an order that directs Starion Energy to cease and desist from all violations of the D.C. Code regarding consumer protection standards that apply to all energy suppliers.

The evidentiary hearing into Starion Energy is to take place on October 3, 2013.

 

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