UPDATE: The Second District Appellate Court of Illinois upheld the Illinois Commerce Commission’s $1 million fine against LifeEnergy, another legal victory for consumers. In 2020, CUB secured a $1 million fine against the supplier, but it appealed to the higher court.
Alternative electric supplier National Gas & Electric, LLC will pay a $1.25 million settlement in refunds to its customers and $250,000 for energy assistance for income-eligible residents after staff at the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) alleged misconduct by the supplier. The settlement was negotiated by consumer advocates, including CUB.
Without an admission of guilt, National Gas & Electric (NGE) voluntarily agreed to the settlement, which includes a three-year ban on marketing and enrollments in Illinois. The agreement also lays out remediation steps to ensure appropriate behavior upon reentry in the market.
NGE customers should expect to receive refund checks through the mail. Customer refunds will be determined by the number of kilowatt-hours NGE supplied to the customer. As part of the agreement, NGE will hire an administrator to ensure refunds are issued in a timely manner.
The supplier has also agreed to deposit $250,000 into the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps income-qualified residents afford their home energy bills.
CUB has worked on several other cases involving alternative suppliers this year, totaling over $2 million in customer refunds and contributions to LIHEAP:
Alternative electric supplier Great American Power agreed to pay a $325,000 settlement over alleged failure to comply with state regulations governing alternative suppliers. The supplier is now banned from marketing its products or enrolling customers in Illinois for five years. Of the $325,000, $200,000 will be refunded to Great American Power’s residential customers. The remaining $125,000 will be directed to LIHEAP.
Alternative electric supplier Star Energy Partners LLC agreed to pay a $300,000 settlement for alleged misleading marketing practices and also agreed to stop pitching its products or enrolling customers in Illinois for two years. Of the $300,000, $275,000 will be refunded to Star Energy’s current and former residential customers. The remaining $25,000 will be directed to LIHEAP.