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Protect your business from energy scams

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At Direct Energy Business, customers are at our core, and we want to ensure their protection from misconduct that can take place in the competitive energy marketplace. This is the first of a two-part series designed to educate our customers and partners about the unfortunate few bad actors in the competitive energy marketplace who seek to take advantage of uninformed consumers.

You may have seen in the news recently that a telephone-based scam has taken place within the Ohio Edison utility territory. Scammers who claim to work for the utility are threatening consumers that their electricity will be turned off if they don’t send the caller money via a credit card or Money Pak card. The scammers are then offering free days of electricity if you pay them promptly in this manner.

Should you receive a phone call such as this one, call your utility and/or supplier immediately if you think you may owe money; otherwise, do not share your credit card information or send money cards to anyone claiming to be your utility.

While rare, scams do happen. The best protection is to always remember the following:

  1. Your energy service cannot be switched without your consent.
  2. Energy suppliers cannot physically disconnect your service. You can only be disconnected by the local utility that adheres to Public Service Commission (PSC) rules.
  3. Local utilities will continue to deliver your electricity and natural gas, and the PSC will continue to oversee system reliability.
  4. The PSC handles complaints against utilities and suppliers.

Please warn your friends, families, and elderly neighbors of scams such as this one. The best way to protect yourself as a consumer is to be attentive when dealing with utilities and energy suppliers, know your rights as an energy consumer, and act quickly to address any concerns you may have when you have them.

Posted: May 22, 2014