The Maryland Public Service Commission has approved a settlement agreement under which Statewise Energy Maryland, LLC will pay a $150,000 civil penalty for violations of Maryland law and Commission consumer protection regulations for deceptive marketing practices and enrolling customers in electricity and natural gas retail supply without proper authorization.
Between May 2019 and June 2021, customers complained that Statewise enrolled them without their consent and without proper contract documents, and that agents of the company told potential customers they were from their utility or a Maryland government agency and promised savings on their energy bills but then charged customers higher rates.
The Commission’s Consumer Affairs Division also testified that customers were given documents showing different fee amounts for cancelling a contract than what appeared in the company’s terms and conditions.
In addition to the civil penalty, the settlement agreement ensures that Statewise provides customers with a signed copy of the agreement along with a contract summary.
Statewise, an affiliate of SFE Energy Maryland, Inc., was licensed by the commission as an energy supplier in October 2018. The company has been suspended from door-to-door sales and telemarketing in Maryland since June of 2021. With commission approval of the settlement agreement, that suspension is now lifted.
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