Columbus, Ohio – The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) today adopted a settlement agreement requiring refunds of overcharges to customers of PALMco Energy OH, LLC and PALMco Power OH, LLC, which are retail energy providers doing business as Indra Energy. The companies will also waive any outstanding unpaid bills.

“Today we are happy to provide more than $1 million in relief to customers impacted by PALMco’s misleading rates,” stated PUCO Chair Jenifer French. “At the PUCO we take allegations of misleading marketing or customer enrollment very seriously and we will continue to work to ensure fairness in Ohio’s competitive energy marketplace.”

Under the terms of the agreement, PALMco will refund customers whose rates increased by more than 50% from August – December 2019, totaling more than $215,000. PALMco will also waive uncollected bills of approximately $832,000. Any remaining balances after PALMco issues refunds will be donated to a charity chosen by the Ohio Consumers’ Counsel (OCC).

PALMco’s current owners, officers or partners are barred from doing business in Ohio’s retail energy markets for seven years by the terms of the agreement.

A copy of today’s opinion and order is available on the PUCO’s website at www.PUCO.ohio.gov. Click on the link to Docketing Information Service and search for case 19-2153-GE-COI.

Case background

On December 19, 2019, PUCO staff filed a notice stating it received 51 complaints from PALMco customers between Aug. 1, 2019 and Dec. 10, 2019 about abnormally high electricity and natural gas bills. In its letter, PUCO staff noted concern that PALMco was already under investigation for nearly identical allegations of misleading and deceptive practices to market to and enroll customers with “competitive” and “the best” rates, however charged customers more than 4 times the regulated utilities’ prices. 

On Sept. 21, 2021, PUCO staff, OCC and PALMco filed a joint settlement agreement and recommendation for the Commission’s consideration. 

PUCO regulations

The PUCO is charged with adopting and enforcing regulations to protect consumers from any misleading or deceptive acts or practices by competitive retail electric and natural gas providers.

The PUCO maintains its Energy Choice Ohio website to provide helpful tools to assist consumers in evaluating their electric and natural gas supply options. The PUCO’s Apples to Apples comparison charts provide customers with a snapshot comparison of rates if they do not choose to enroll with a competitive supplier, versus current electric and natural gas supplier offers, and contract terms. The charts are updated daily.

For more information, please visit www.energychoice.ohio.gov or www.PUCO.ohio.gov, or call the PUCO Consumer Call Center at (800) 686-PUCO (7826).

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David Miller is the Publisher and Editor of Loveland Magazine. To learn more visit the "About" page. (http://bit.ly/2gyn1s6)