Advertiser Disclosure: At ElectricityRates.com, our number one goal is to help you make better energy decisions. We adhere to strict editorial guidelines, however this post may include references to products offered from our partners.
An electricity supplier is under investigation by the Delaware Public Service Commission (DPSC).
As part of deregulation, companies are allowed to compete with Delmarva Power for the right to serve its customers with electricity supply. Delmarva remains in charge of delivery and billing for all of its customers, regardless of whether a customer chooses to use Delmarva's standard service for their electricity supply, or go with a competitive electricity provider.
Starion Energy was certified as an electric supplier for residential customers in Delaware on October 2012 by the Public Service Commission.
In December, the PSC began receiving "numerous complaints" about solicitations made by Starion and its agents, according to a PSC order. Late last month, the PSC voted to investigate whether Starion violated any rules, regulations or laws. The public notice about the investigation recently was published in state newspapers.
The complaints alleged that Starion representatives were claiming they worked for Delmarva and that representatives of Starion employed aggressive tactics, said PSC spokesman Matt Hartigan. Customers claimed they had trouble getting through when they called to cancel their accounts, Hartigan said.
Starion has been placed on notice that it will bear the costs of the investigation, the PSC reported. The PSC has sent the company a series of questions, and the PSC staff eventually will make recommendations to commissioners about what to do, Hartigan said.
Starion officials did not return a call seeking comment.
David Bonar, the state's public advocate, said it is important that people pay close attention not only to the sales pitch that third-party suppliers are giving them, but the details of the contracts being offered.
While these suppliers have served a good purpose in giving customers choices and helping reduce rates, at times there have been instances when the contract expires and the prices increase, Bonar said.
"It requires extreme diligence by consumers to know when their contract is up, and to renegotiate prior to the contract's expiration date, so they can get the best deal," Bonar said.
If people are given a sales pitch for third-party electricity supply, they can contact the Public Service Commission at (302) 736-7500 to check on its truthfulness, Bonar said.