The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has opened an investigation into the multiple billing glitches by Direct Energy reported on in the Beacon Journal in the last year.
The problems include inexplicably linking two accounts in two different counties with overages, inadvertently switching 372 accounts into the Summit County aggregation, not enrolling 443 Tallmadge aggregate customers who had made requests for enrollment, customer billing issues of not being switched to the correct rates and problems last January by sending 17,000 letters in error about the Summit County aggregation plan, which had 3,400 eligible customers.
On Thursday, PUCO spokesman Jason Gilham said the issues have resulted in an investigation.
“The PUCO has opened an investigation into these matters with Direct Energy. The Commission takes these issues very serious and while our investigation will look to help resolve these matters for those affected customers, we also want to ensure that similar issues of this nature do not occur in the future,” he said.
Last week, PUCO Audit Chief Lisa Colosimo said while the Direct Energy problems had been large, it had not yet reached the enforcement issue.
In explaining the reason for the investigation, Gilham said a separate enforcement department had simultaneously noticed what it considered a pattern in issues with the company.
Gilham said the investigation was based on complaints reported in the Beacon Journal.
Direct Energy spokeswoman Bethany Ruhe said the company was cooperating with the PUCO to ensure the issues will not happen again.
— Betty Lin-Fisher