Blumenthal Asks DPUC To Investigate Independent Power Seller

Aug 12th, 2010 | By | Category: Business, Energy

Blumenthal Asks DPUC To Investigate Independent Power Seller For Allegedly Falsifying State License Application, Delaying And Diverting Contracts

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is asking state regulators to investigate an independent power seller for allegedly falsifying its state license application and delaying and diverting contracts, potentially costing customers hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in lost discounts.

Positive Energy Electricity Supply, LLC is an electricity aggregator — a company that buys power from suppliers and resells it at a discount to consumers.

Blumenthal asked the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to investigate whether the company may have failed to disclose during its state application process that president and CEO Joseph E. Ventura owed a $100,000 fine to the state Department of Banking for submitting false information on a loan application. Ventura was a loan originator at the time.

Blumenthal also asked DPUC to investigate claims that Ventura allegedly delayed processing customer requests to switch electricity suppliers in order divert them to another company. If true, as many as 30,000 to 40,000 consumers could have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in discounts.

Blumenthal learned of the allegations from company investors and former employees.

“These allegations – falsifying a state license application and delaying contracts – are serious and significant, potentially costing consumers hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in discounts,” Blumenthal said. “I urge the DPUC to investigate and take action — license revocation, restitution to consumers and monetary penalties — if warranted by the facts.

“Allegations that the company failed to disclose its CEO owed a $100,000 fine for bank fraud are deeply disturbing. If revealed during the review process, the fine and finding likely would have resulted in denial of the company’s license.

“Investors’ charges that the company president waited months so he could divert those contracts to another company potentially denied consumers electricity discount worth hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. If true, consumers must get back extra and unnecessary electricity costs.

“Consumers struggling to pay record electricity prices must receive fair and honest treatment from power discounters. I will continue fighting to assure that aggregators are properly licensed and vetted, and that they keep their promises to consumers.”

Earlier this month, Positive Electricity Energy Supply investors met with Blumenthal’s office and alleged that Ventura told customers they were signing with supplier Viridian Energy, Inc, but never actually processed the contracts. Instead Ventura waited months until another supplier, ResCom Energy, LLC, received its state license and then signed them with that company, the investors charged.

As a result, as many as 30,000 to 40,000 consumers received discounted electricity months later than if Ventura had signed up immediately, the investors charged.

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