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TITLE 16ECONOMIC REGULATION
PART 2PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION OF TEXAS
CHAPTER 25SUBSTANTIVE RULES APPLICABLE TO ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
SUBCHAPTER RCUSTOMER PROTECTION RULES FOR RETAIL ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDERS
RULE §25.474Selection of Retail Electric Provider

(g) Personal solicitations other than door-to-door marketing. A REP or aggregator that engages in personal solicitation at a location other than a customer's residence (such as malls, fairs, or places of business) shall comply with all requirements for written enrollments and LOA requirements detailed in subsection (e) of this section. In addition, the REP or aggregator shall comply with the following additional requirements:

  (1) For transactions occurring at a place other than the REP or aggregator's place of business, the REP or aggregator shall provide the three-day right of rescission required by the Federal Trade Commission's Trade Regulation Rule Concerning Cooling-Off Period for Sales Made at Homes or at Certain Other Locations (16 C.F.R. Part 429).

  (2) For solicitations of residential customers, the individual who represents the REP or aggregator shall wear a clear and conspicuous identification of the REP or aggregator on the front of the individual's outer clothing or on an identification badge worn by the individual. The company name displayed shall conform to the name on the REP's certification or aggregator's registration obtained from the commission and the name that appears on all of the REP's or aggregator's contracts and terms of service documents in possession of the individual.

  (3) The individual who represents the REP or aggregator shall not state or imply that it is a representative of the customer's transmission and distribution utility or any other REP or aggregator. The REP's or aggregator's clothing and sales presentation shall be designed to avoid the impression by a reasonable person that the individual represents the applicant's transmission and distribution utility or any other REP or aggregator.

  (4) The REP or aggregator shall not represent that an applicant is required to switch service in order to continue to receive power.

(h) Telephonic enrollment. For enrollments of applicants via telephone solicitation, a REP or aggregator shall obtain authorization and verification of the move-in or switch request from the applicant in accordance with this subsection.

  (1) A REP or aggregator shall electronically record on audio tape, a wave sound file, or other recording device the entirety of an applicant's authorization and verification. Automated systems shall provide the customers with either the option of speaking to a live person at any time during the call, or the option to exit the call and cancel the enrollment.

  (2) The REP or aggregator shall inform the customer that the authorization and verification portions of the call are being recorded.

  (3) Authorizations and verifications shall be conducted in the same language as that used in the sales transaction.

  (4) Required authorization disclosures. Prior to requesting verification of the move-in or switch request, a REP or aggregator shall clearly and conspicuously disclose the following information:

    (A) the name of the new REP;

    (B) the name of the specific electric service package or plan for which the applicant's assent is attained;

    (C) the price of the product or plan, including the total price stated in cents per kilowatt-hour, for electric service;

    (D) term or length of the term of service;

    (E) the presence or absence of early termination fees or penalties, and applicable amounts;

    (F) any requirement to pay a deposit and the estimated amount of that deposit, or the method in which the deposit will be calculated or the method in which the deposit will be calculated. An affiliated REP or POLR shall also notify the applicant of the right to post a letter of guarantee in lieu of a deposit in accordance with §25.478(i) of this title;

    (G) any fees to the applicant for switching to the REP pursuant to subsection (n) of this section;

    (H) in the case of a switch, the applicant's right, pursuant to subsection (j) of this section, to review and rescind the terms of service within three federal business days, after receiving the terms of service, without penalty;

    (I) a statement that the applicant will receive a written copy of the terms of service document that will explain all the terms of the agreement and how to exercise the right of rescission, if applicable; and

    (J) if the customer is being enrolled for prepaid service as defined by §25.498(b)(7) of this title, that the customer will not receive a bill and may request a summary of usage and payment.

  (5) Verification of authorization of telephonic enrollment.

    (A) A REP or aggregator shall electronically record on audio tape, a wave sound file, or other recording device the entirety of an applicant's verification of the authorization. The REP or aggregator shall inform the applicant that the verification call is being recorded.

    (B) Prior to final confirmation by the applicant that they wish to enroll with the REP, the REP shall, at a minimum:

      (i) obtain or confirm the applicant's billing name, billing address, and service address;

      (ii) obtain or confirm the applicant's ESI-ID, if available;

      (iii) for a move-in request, ask the applicant, "do you agree to become a customer with (REP) and allow (REP) to complete the tasks required to start your electric service?" and the applicant must answer affirmatively; or

      (iv) for a switch request, ask the applicant, "do you agree to become a (REP) customer and allow us to complete the tasks required to switch your electric service from your current REP to (REP)?" and the applicant must answer affirmatively;

      (v) ask the applicant, "do you want to receive information in English, Spanish (or the language used in the marketing of service to the applicant)?" The REP shall provide a means of documenting the applicant's language preference; and

      (vi) obtain or confirm one of the following account access verification data: last four digits of the social security number, mother's maiden name, city or town of birth, or month and day of birth, driver's license or government issued identification number. For non-residential applicants, a REP may obtain the applicant's federal tax identification number.

    (C) In the event the applicant does not consent to or does not provide any of the information listed in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the enrollment shall be deemed invalid and the REP shall not submit a switch or move-in request for the applicant's service.

    (D) If a REP has solicited service for prepaid service, an actual pre-payment by a customer may be substituted for a telephonic verification, provided that the pre-payment is not taken at the time of the solicitation by the sales representative that has obtained the authorization from the customer, and the REP has obtained a written LOA from the customer and can produce documentation of the pre-payment. The REP shall not submit a move-in or switch request until it has received the prepayment from the customer.

(i) Record retention.

  (1) A REP or aggregator shall maintain non-public records of each applicant's authorization and verification of enrollment for 24 months from the date of the REP's initial enrollment of the applicant and shall provide such records to the applicant, customer, or commission staff, upon request.

  (2) A REP or an aggregator shall submit copies of its sales script, terms of service document, and any other materials used to obtain a customer's authorization or verification to the commission staff upon request. In the event commission staff request documents under this subsection, the requested records must be delivered to the commission staff within 15 days of the written request, unless otherwise agreed to by commission staff.

  (3) In the event an applicant or customer disputes an enrollment or switch, the REP shall provide to the applicant or customer proof of the applicant's or customer's authorization within five business days of the request.

(j) Right of rescission. A REP shall promptly provide the applicant with the terms of service document after the applicant has authorized the REP to provide service to the applicant and the authorization has been verified. For switch requests, the REP shall offer the applicant a right to rescind the terms of service without penalty or fee of any kind for a period of three federal business days after the applicant's receipt of the terms of service document. The provider may assume that any delivery of the terms of service document deposited first class with the United States Postal Service will be received by the applicant within three federal business days. Any REP receiving an untimely notice of rescission from the applicant shall inform the applicant that the applicant has a right to select another REP and may do so by contacting that REP. The REP shall also inform the applicant that the applicant will be responsible for charges from the REP for service provided until the applicant switches to another REP. The right of rescission is not applicable to an applicant requesting a move-in.

(k) Submission of an applicant's switch or move-in request to the registration agent. A REP shall submit a move-in or switch request to the registration agent so that the move-in or switch will be processed on the approximate scheduled date agreed to by the applicant and as allowed by the tariff of the TDU, municipally owned utility, or electric cooperative. A REP shall submit an applicant's switch request to the registration agent as a standard switch. In the alternative, the REP shall submit an applicant's switch request as a self-selected switch if the applicant requests a specific date for a switch, consistent with the applicable transmission and distribution tariff. A REP may submit an applicant's switch request to the registration agent prior to the expiration of the rescission period prescribed by subsection (j) of this section, provided that if the customer makes a timely request to cancel service the REP shall take action to ensure that the switch is canceled or the customer is promptly returned to its chosen REP without inconvenience or additional cost to the customer. The applicant shall be informed of the approximate scheduled date that the applicant will begin receiving electric service from the REP, and of any delays in meeting that date, if known by the REP.

(l) Duty of the registration agent.

  (1) When the registration agent receives a move-in or switch request from a REP, the registration agent shall process that request in accordance with this section and its protocols, to the extent that the protocols are consistent with this section. The registration agent shall send a switch notification notice to the applicant that shall:

    (A) be worded in English and Spanish consistent with §25.473(d) of this title (relating to Non-English Language Requirements);

    (B) identify the REP that initiated the switch request; and

    (C) provide the names and telephone numbers for the gaining and losing REP.

  (2) The registration agent shall direct the TDU to implement any switch, move-in, or transfer to the REP or the POLR in accordance with this section and its protocols.

(m) Exemptions for certain transfers. The provisions of this section relating to authorization and right of rescission are not applicable when the applicant's or customer's electric service is:

  (1) transferred to the POLR pursuant to §25.43 of this title (relating to Provider of Last Resort (POLR)) when the customer's REP of record defaults or otherwise ceases to provide service. Nothing in this subsection implies that the customer is accepting a contract with the POLR for a specific term;

  (2) transferred to the competitive affiliate of the POLR pursuant to §25.43(o) of this title;

  (3) transferred to another REP in accordance with section §25.493 of this title (relating to Acquisition and Transfer of Customers from One Retail Electric Provider to Another); or

  (4) transferred from one premise to another premise without a change in REP and without a material change in the terms of service.

(n) Fees. A REP, other than a municipally owned utility or an electric cooperative, shall not charge a fee to an applicant to switch to, select, or enroll with the REP unless an applicant without a Provisioned Advanced Meter requests an out-of-cycle meter read for the purpose of a self-selected switch. The registration agent shall not charge a fee to the end-use customer for the switch or enrollment process performed by the registration agent. The TDU shall not charge a fee for a review or adjustment described in subsection (p)(2) of this section. To the extent that the TDU assesses a REP a properly tariffed charge for connection of service, out-of-cycle meter read for self-selected switch requests, service order cancellations, or changes associated with the switching of service or the establishment of new service, any such fee may be passed on to the applicant or customer by the REP. A TDU shall not assess to a REP or an applicant any costs associated with a switch cancellation, including inadvertent gain fees, that results from the applicant's exercise of the three-day right of rescission. The TDU shall include such costs in the cost recovery mechanism described in subsection (o) of this section.

(o) TDU cost recovery. The TDU may recover the reasonable costs associated with performing meter reads for purposes of a standard switch through one of the following two options at the TDU's discretion:

Cont'd...

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