Bill Text: IL SB0651 | 2019-2020 | 101st General Assembly | Engrossed


Bill Title: Amends the Public Utilities Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the short title and applicability of the Electric Service Customer Choice and Rate Relief Law of 1997.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 67-3)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-05-24 - Added Alternate Chief Co-Sponsor Rep. Jim Durkin [SB0651 Detail]

Download: Illinois-2019-SB0651-Engrossed.html



SB0651 EngrossedLRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 AN ACT concerning regulation.
2 Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
3represented in the General Assembly:
4 Section 1. This Act may be referred to as the Home Energy
5Affordability and Transparency (HEAT) Act.
6 Section 5. The Public Utilities Act is amended by changing
7Sections 16-115A, 16-118, 16-123, 19-115, 19-130, 19-135, and
820-110 and by adding Sections 16-115E and 19-116 as follows:
9 (220 ILCS 5/16-115A)
10 Sec. 16-115A. Obligations of alternative retail electric
11suppliers.
12 (a) An alternative retail electric supplier shall:
13 (i) shall comply with the requirements imposed on
14 public utilities by Sections 8-201 through 8-207, 8-301,
15 8-505 and 8-507 of this Act, to the extent that these
16 Sections have application to the services being offered by
17 the alternative retail electric supplier; and
18 (ii) shall continue to comply with the requirements for
19 certification stated in subsection (d) of Section 16-115; .
20 (iii) beginning January 1, 2020 and every January 1
21 thereafter, shall submit to the Commission and the Office
22 of the Attorney General the rates the retail electric

SB0651 Engrossed- 2 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 supplier charged to residential customers in the prior
2 year, including each distinct rate charged and whether the
3 rate was a fixed or variable rate, the basis for the
4 variable rate, and any fees charged in addition to the
5 supply rate, including monthly fees, flat fees, or other
6 service charges; and
7 (iv) shall make publicly available on its website,
8 without the need for a customer login, rate information for
9 all of its variable, time-of-use, and fixed rate contracts
10 currently available to residential customers, including,
11 but not limited to, fixed monthly charges, early
12 termination fees, and kilowatt-hour charges.
13 (b) An alternative retail electric supplier shall obtain
14verifiable authorization from a customer, in a form or manner
15approved by the Commission consistent with Section 2EE of the
16Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, before the
17customer is switched from another supplier.
18 (c) No alternative retail electric supplier, or electric
19utility other than the electric utility in whose service area a
20customer is located, shall (i) enter into or employ any
21arrangements which have the effect of preventing a retail
22customer with a maximum electrical demand of less than one
23megawatt from having access to the services of the electric
24utility in whose service area the customer is located or (ii)
25charge retail customers for such access. This subsection shall
26not be construed to prevent an arms-length agreement between a

SB0651 Engrossed- 3 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1supplier and a retail customer that sets a term of service,
2notice period for terminating service and provisions governing
3early termination through a tariff or contract as allowed by
4Section 16-119.
5 (d) An alternative retail electric supplier that is
6certified to serve residential or small commercial retail
7customers shall not:
8 (1) deny service to a customer or group of customers
9 nor establish any differences as to prices, terms,
10 conditions, services, products, facilities, or in any
11 other respect, whereby such denial or differences are based
12 upon race, gender or income, except as provided in Section
13 16-115E.
14 (2) deny service to a customer or group of customers
15 based on locality nor establish any unreasonable
16 difference as to prices, terms, conditions, services,
17 products, or facilities as between localities.
18 (e) An alternative retail electric supplier shall comply
19with the following requirements with respect to the marketing,
20offering and provision of products or services to residential
21and small commercial retail customers:
22 (i) All Any marketing materials, including, but not
23 limited to, electronic marketing materials, in-person
24 solicitations, and telephone solicitations, which make
25 statements concerning prices, terms and conditions of
26 service shall contain information that adequately

SB0651 Engrossed- 4 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 discloses the prices, terms, and conditions of the products
2 or services that the alternative retail electric supplier
3 is offering or selling to the customer and shall disclose
4 the current utility electric supply price to compare
5 applicable at the time the alternative retail electric
6 supplier is offering or selling the products or services to
7 the customer and shall disclose the date on which the
8 utility electric supply price to compare became effective
9 and the date on which it will expire. The utility electric
10 supply price to compare shall be the sum of the electric
11 supply charge and the transmission services charge and
12 shall not include the purchased electricity adjustment.
13 All marketing materials, including, but not limited to,
14 electronic marketing materials, in-person solicitations,
15 and telephone solicitations, shall include the following
16 statement: .
17 "(Name of the alternative retail electric
18 supplier) is not the same entity as your electric
19 delivery company. You are not required to enroll with
20 (name of alternative retail electric supplier).
21 Beginning on (effective date), the electric supply
22 price to compare is (price in cents per kilowatt hour).
23 The electric utility electric supply price will expire
24 on (expiration date). The utility electric supply
25 price to compare does not include the purchased
26 electricity adjustment factor that may range between

SB0651 Engrossed- 5 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 +.5 cents and -.5 cents per kilowatt hour. For more
2 information go to the Illinois Commerce Commission's
3 free website at www.pluginillinois.org.".
4 This paragraph (i) does not apply to goodwill or
5 institutional advertising.
6 (ii) Before any customer is switched from another
7 supplier, the alternative retail electric supplier shall
8 give the customer written information that adequately
9 discloses, in plain language, the prices, terms and
10 conditions of the products and services being offered and
11 sold to the customer. This written information shall be
12 provided in a language in which the customer subject to the
13 marketing or solicitation is able to understand and
14 communicate, and the alternative retail electric supplier
15 shall comply with Section 2N of the Consumer Fraud and
16 Deceptive Business Practices Act.
17 (iii) An alternative retail electric supplier shall
18 provide documentation to the Commission and to customers
19 that substantiates any claims made by the alternative
20 retail electric supplier regarding the technologies and
21 fuel types used to generate the electricity offered or sold
22 to customers.
23 (iv) The alternative retail electric supplier shall
24 provide to the customer (1) itemized billing statements
25 that describe the products and services provided to the
26 customer and their prices, and (2) an additional statement,

SB0651 Engrossed- 6 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 at least annually, that adequately discloses the average
2 monthly prices, and the terms and conditions, of the
3 products and services sold to the customer.
4 (v) All solicitations shall be conducted in,
5 translated into, and provided in a language in which the
6 customer subject to the marketing or solicitation is able
7 to understand and communicate. An alternative retail
8 electric supplier shall not solicit an enrollment of or
9 enroll any customer if the alternative retail electric
10 supplier is unable to communicate and provide marketing
11 materials in a language in which the customer subject to
12 the marketing or solicitation is able to understand and
13 communicate.
14 (f) An alternative retail electric supplier may limit the
15overall size or availability of a service offering by
16specifying one or more of the following: a maximum number of
17customers, maximum amount of electric load to be served, time
18period during which the offering will be available, or other
19comparable limitation, but not including the geographic
20locations of customers within the area which the alternative
21retail electric supplier is certificated to serve. The
22alternative retail electric supplier shall file the terms and
23conditions of such service offering including the applicable
24limitations with the Commission prior to making the service
25offering available to customers.
26 (g) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as

SB0651 Engrossed- 7 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1preventing an alternative retail electric supplier, which is an
2affiliate of, or which contracts with, (i) an industry or trade
3organization or association, (ii) a membership organization or
4association that exists for a purpose other than the purchase
5of electricity, or (iii) another organization that meets
6criteria established in a rule adopted by the Commission, from
7offering through the organization or association services at
8prices, terms and conditions that are available solely to the
9members of the organization or association.
10(Source: P.A. 90-561, eff. 12-16-97.)
11 (220 ILCS 5/16-115E new)
12 Sec. 16-115E. Alternative retail electric supplier utility
13assistance recipient.
14 (a) Beginning January 1, 2020, an alternative retail
15electric supplier shall not knowingly submit an enrollment to
16change a customer's electric supply service if the electric
17utility's records indicate that the customer received
18financial assistance in the last 12 months from either the Low
19Income Home Energy Assistance Program or, at the time of
20enrollment, is participating in the Percentage of Income
21Payment Plan, unless: (1) the customer's change in electric
22supply service is pursuant to a government aggregation program
23adopted in accordance with Section 1-92 of the Illinois Power
24Agency Act; or (2) the customer's change in electric supply
25service is pursuant to a Commission-approved savings guarantee

SB0651 Engrossed- 8 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1plan as described in subsection (b).
2 (b) Beginning July 1, 2020, an alternative retail electric
3supplier may apply to the Commission to offer a savings
4guarantee plan to recipients of the Low Income Home Energy
5Assistance Program or Percentage of Income Payment Plan
6funding. The Commission shall initiate a public, docketed
7proceeding to consider whether or not to approve an alternative
8retail electric supplier's application to offer a savings
9guarantee plan. At a minimum, the savings guarantee plan shall
10charge customers for electric supply less than the amount
11charged by the electric utility for electric supply. The
12Commission shall adopt rules to implement this subsection (b).
13 (c) An agreement entered into between an alternative retail
14electric supplier and a consumer who either received financial
15assistance in the last 12 months from the Low Income Home
16Energy Assistance Program or, at the time of enrollment, is
17participating in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan in
18violation of this Section is void and unenforceable. Before the
19electric utility executes a change in a customer's electric
20supplier, other than a change pursuant to a government
21aggregation program adopted in accordance with Section 1-92 of
22the Illinois Power Agency or pursuant to a Commission-approved
23savings guarantee plan as described in subsection (b), the
24electric utility shall confirm at the time of the request
25whether its records indicate that the customer either received
26financial assistance within the preceding 12 months from the

SB0651 Engrossed- 9 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or, at the time of
2enrollment, is participating in the Percentage of Income
3Payment Plan and, if its records so indicate, shall reject the
4change request. Absent willful or wanton misconduct, no
5electric utility shall be held liable for any error in acting
6or failing to act pursuant to this Section.
7 (220 ILCS 5/16-118)
8 Sec. 16-118. Services provided by electric utilities to
9alternative retail electric suppliers.
10 (a) It is in the best interest of Illinois energy consumers
11to promote fair and open competition in the provision of
12electric power and energy and to prevent anticompetitive
13practices in the provision of electric power and energy.
14Therefore, to the extent an electric utility provides electric
15power and energy or delivery services to alternative retail
16electric suppliers and such services are not subject to the
17jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and
18are not competitive services, they shall be provided through
19tariffs that are filed with the Commission, pursuant to Article
20IX of this Act. Each electric utility shall permit alternative
21retail electric suppliers to interconnect facilities to those
22owned by the utility provided they meet established standards
23for such interconnection, and may provide standby or other
24services to alternative retail electric suppliers. The
25alternative retail electric supplier shall sign a contract

SB0651 Engrossed- 10 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1setting forth the prices, terms and conditions for
2interconnection with the electric utility and the prices, terms
3and conditions for services provided by the electric utility to
4the alternative retail electric supplier in connection with the
5delivery by the electric utility of electric power and energy
6supplied by the alternative retail electric supplier.
7 (b) An electric utility shall file a tariff pursuant to
8Article IX of the Act that would allow alternative retail
9electric suppliers or electric utilities other than the
10electric utility in whose service area retail customers are
11located to issue single bills to the retail customers for both
12the services provided by such alternative retail electric
13supplier or other electric utility and the delivery services
14provided by the electric utility to such customers. The tariff
15filed pursuant to this subsection shall (i) require partial
16payments made by retail customers to be credited first to the
17electric utility's tariffed services, (ii) impose commercially
18reasonable terms with respect to credit and collection,
19including requests for deposits, (iii) retain the electric
20utility's right to disconnect the retail customers, if it does
21not receive payment for its tariffed services, in the same
22manner that it would be permitted to if it had billed for the
23services itself, and (iv) require the alternative retail
24electric supplier or other electric utility that elects the
25billing option provided by this tariff to include on each bill
26to retail customers an identification of the electric utility

SB0651 Engrossed- 11 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1providing the delivery services and a listing of the charges
2applicable to such services. The tariff filed pursuant to this
3subsection may also include other just and reasonable terms and
4conditions. In addition, an electric utility, an alternative
5retail electric supplier or electric utility other than the
6electric utility in whose service area the customer is located,
7and a customer served by such alternative retail electric
8supplier or other electric utility, may enter into an agreement
9pursuant to which the alternative retail electric supplier or
10other electric utility pays the charges specified in Section
1116-108, or other customer-related charges, including taxes and
12fees, in lieu of such charges being recovered by the electric
13utility directly from the customer.
14 (c) An electric utility with more than 100,000 customers
15shall file a tariff pursuant to Article IX of this Act that
16provides alternative retail electric suppliers, and electric
17utilities other than the electric utility in whose service area
18the retail customers are located, with the option to have the
19electric utility purchase their receivables for power and
20energy service provided to residential retail customers and
21non-residential retail customers with a non-coincident peak
22demand of less than 400 kilowatts. Receivables for power and
23energy service of alternative retail electric suppliers or
24electric utilities other than the electric utility in whose
25service area the retail customers are located shall be
26purchased by the electric utility at a just and reasonable

SB0651 Engrossed- 12 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1discount rate to be reviewed and approved by the Commission
2after notice and hearing. The discount rate shall be based on
3the electric utility's historical bad debt and any reasonable
4start-up costs and administrative costs associated with the
5electric utility's purchase of receivables. The discounted
6rate for purchase of receivables shall be included in the
7tariff filed pursuant to this subsection (c). The discount rate
8filed pursuant to this subsection (c) shall be subject to
9periodic Commission review. The electric utility retains the
10right to impose the same terms on retail customers with respect
11to credit and collection, including requests for deposits, and
12retain the electric utility's right to disconnect the retail
13customers, if it does not receive payment for its tariffed
14services or purchased receivables, in the same manner that it
15would be permitted to if the retail customers purchased power
16and energy from the electric utility. The tariff filed pursuant
17to this subsection (c) shall permit the electric utility to
18recover from retail customers any uncollected receivables that
19may arise as a result of the purchase of receivables under this
20subsection (c), may also include other just and reasonable
21terms and conditions, and shall provide for the prudently
22incurred costs associated with the provision of this service
23pursuant to this subsection (c). Nothing in this subsection (c)
24permits the double recovery of bad debt expenses from
25customers.
26 (d) An electric utility with more than 100,000 customers

SB0651 Engrossed- 13 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1shall file a tariff pursuant to Article IX of this Act that
2would provide alternative retail electric suppliers or
3electric utilities other than the electric utility in whose
4service area retail customers are located with the option to
5have the electric utility produce and provide single bills to
6the retail customers for both the electric power and energy
7service provided by the alternative retail electric supplier or
8other electric utility and the delivery services provided by
9the electric utility to the customers. The tariffs filed
10pursuant to this subsection shall require the electric utility
11to collect and remit customer payments for electric power and
12energy service provided by alternative retail electric
13suppliers or electric utilities other than the electric utility
14in whose service area retail customers are located. The tariff
15filed pursuant to this subsection shall require the electric
16utility to include on each bill to retail customers an
17identification of the alternative retail electric supplier or
18other electric utility that elects the billing option. The
19tariff filed pursuant to this subsection (d) may also include
20other just and reasonable terms and conditions and shall
21provide for the recovery of prudently incurred costs associated
22with the provision of service pursuant to this subsection (d).
23The costs associated with the provision of service pursuant to
24this Section shall be subject to periodic Commission review.
25 (e) An electric utility with more than 100,000 customers in
26this State shall file a tariff pursuant to Article IX of this

SB0651 Engrossed- 14 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1Act that provides alternative retail electric suppliers, and
2electric utilities other than the electric utility in whose
3service area the retail customers are located, with the option
4to have the electric utility purchase 2 billing cycles worth of
5uncollectible receivables for power and energy service
6provided to residential retail customers and to
7non-residential retail customers with a non-coincident peak
8demand of less than 400 kilowatts upon returning that customer
9to that electric utility for delivery and energy service after
10that alternative retail electric supplier, or an electric
11utility other than the electric utility in whose service area
12the retail customer is located, has made reasonable collection
13efforts on that account. Uncollectible receivables for power
14and energy service of alternative retail electric suppliers, or
15electric utilities other than the electric utility in whose
16service area the retail customers are located, shall be
17purchased by the electric utility at a just and reasonable
18discount rate to be reviewed and approved by the Commission,
19after notice and hearing. The discount rate shall be based on
20the electric utility's historical bad debt for receivables that
21are outstanding for a similar length of time and any reasonable
22start-up costs and administrative costs associated with the
23electric utility's purchase of receivables. The discounted
24rate for purchase of uncollectible receivables shall be
25included in the tariff filed pursuant to this subsection (e).
26The electric utility retains the right to impose the same terms

SB0651 Engrossed- 15 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1on these retail customers with respect to credit and
2collection, including requests for deposits, and retains the
3right to disconnect these retail customers, if it does not
4receive payment for its tariffed services or purchased
5receivables, in the same manner that it would be permitted to
6if the retail customers had purchased power and energy from the
7electric utility. The tariff filed pursuant to this subsection
8(e) shall permit the electric utility to recover from retail
9customers any uncollectable receivables that may arise as a
10result of the purchase of uncollectible receivables under this
11subsection (e), may also include other just and reasonable
12terms and conditions, and shall provide for the prudently
13incurred costs associated with the provision of this service
14pursuant to this subsection (e). Nothing in this subsection (e)
15permits the double recovery of utility bad debt expenses from
16customers. The electric utility may file a joint tariff for
17this subsection (e) and subsection (c) of this Section.
18 (f) Every alternative retail electric supplier or electric
19utility other than the electric utility in whose service area
20retail customers are located that issues single bills to the
21retail customers for the services provided by the alternative
22retail electric supplier or other electric utility to the
23customers shall include on the single bills issued to
24residential customers the current utility electric supply
25price to compare that would apply to the customer for the
26billing period if the customer obtained supply from the

SB0651 Engrossed- 16 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1utility. The current utility electric supply price shall be the
2sum of the electric supply charge and the transmission services
3charge and shall disclose that the price does not include the
4monthly purchased electricity adjustment.
5 (g) Every electric utility that provides delivery and
6supply services shall include on each bill issued to
7residential customers who obtain supply from an alternative
8retail electric supplier the current utility electric supply
9price to compare that would apply to the customer for the
10billing period if the customer obtained supply from the
11utility. The current utility electric supply price to compare
12shall be the sum of the electric supply charge and the
13transmission services charge and shall disclose that the price
14does not include the monthly purchased electricity adjustment.
15(Source: P.A. 95-700, eff. 11-9-07.)
16 (220 ILCS 5/16-123)
17 Sec. 16-123. Establishment of customer information centers
18for electric utilities and alternative retail electric
19suppliers.
20 (a) All electric utilities and alternative retail electric
21suppliers shall be required to maintain a customer call center
22where customers can reach a representative and receive current
23information. Customers shall periodically be notified on how to
24reach the call center. The Commission shall have the authority
25to establish reporting requirements for such centers.

SB0651 Engrossed- 17 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (b) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary, an electric
2utility may:
3 (1) disclose the current utility electric supply price
4 to a retail customer who takes electric power and energy
5 supply service from an alternative retail electric
6 supplier;
7 (2) disclose the supply price the customer is paying as
8 reflected on the customer's bill, if known;
9 (3) furnish to a retail customer a list of frequently
10 asked questions to be used by the retail customer in
11 evaluating electric power and energy supply rate offers by
12 alternative retail electric suppliers; this list may
13 include, but is not limited to, the following:
14 (A) length of the contract;
15 (B) the price per kilowatt hour, and whether the
16 contract price is fixed or variable, and if variable,
17 the circumstances under which the rate may change;
18 (C) whether penalties or early termination fees
19 apply if the customer terminates the contract before
20 the expiration of its term; and
21 (D) whether the customer may be subject to any
22 other adjustments, penalties, surcharges, or costs
23 beyond the electric power and energy supply rate;
24 (4) provide to a retail customer education information
25 published by the Office of Retail Market Development and
26 the Office of the Attorney General regarding the selection

SB0651 Engrossed- 18 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 and evaluation of electric power and energy supply rate
2 offers by alternative retail electric suppliers; and
3 (5) place a restriction on a retail customer's account,
4 at the customer's request, that prohibits any switching of
5 the customer's electric power and energy supply service to
6 an alternative retail electric supplier; the restriction
7 shall only be removed at the customer's express direction
8 to the utility.
9(Source: P.A. 90-561, eff. 12-16-97.)
10 (220 ILCS 5/19-115)
11 Sec. 19-115. Obligations of alternative gas suppliers.
12 (a) The provisions of this Section shall apply only to
13alternative gas suppliers serving or seeking to serve
14residential or small commercial customers and only to the
15extent such alternative gas suppliers provide services to
16residential or small commercial customers.
17 (b) An alternative gas supplier shall:
18 (1) shall comply with the requirements imposed on
19 public utilities by Sections 8-201 through 8-207, 8-301,
20 8-505 and 8-507 of this Act, to the extent that these
21 Sections have application to the services being offered by
22 the alternative gas supplier;
23 (2) shall continue to comply with the requirements for
24 certification stated in Section 19-110;
25 (3) shall comply with complaint procedures established

SB0651 Engrossed- 19 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 by the Commission;
2 (4) except as provided in subsection (h) of this
3 Section, shall file with the Chief Clerk of the Commission,
4 within 20 business days after the effective date of this
5 amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly, a copy of bill
6 formats, standard customer contract and customer complaint
7 and resolution procedures, and the name and telephone
8 number of the company representative whom Commission
9 employees may contact to resolve customer complaints and
10 other matters. In the case of a gas supplier that engages
11 in door-to-door solicitation, the company shall file with
12 the Commission the consumer information disclosure
13 required by item (3) of subsection (c) of Section 2DDD of
14 the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act and
15 shall file updated information within 10 business days
16 after changes in any of the documents or information
17 required to be filed by this item (4); and
18 (5) shall maintain a customer call center where
19 customers can reach a representative and receive current
20 information. At least once every 6 months, each alternative
21 gas supplier shall provide written information to
22 customers explaining how to contact the call center. The
23 average answer time for calls placed to the call center
24 shall not exceed 60 seconds where a representative or
25 automated system is ready to render assistance and/or
26 accept information to process calls. The abandon rate for

SB0651 Engrossed- 20 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 calls placed to the call center shall not exceed 10%. Each
2 alternative gas supplier shall maintain records of the call
3 center's telephone answer time performance and abandon
4 call rate. These records shall be kept for a minimum of 2
5 years and shall be made available to Commission personnel
6 upon request. In the event that answer times and/or abandon
7 rates exceed the limits established above, the reporting
8 alternative gas supplier may provide the Commission or its
9 personnel with explanatory details. At a minimum, these
10 records shall contain the following information in monthly
11 increments:
12 (A) total number of calls received;
13 (B) number of calls answered;
14 (C) average answer time;
15 (D) number of abandoned calls; and
16 (E) abandon call rate.
17 Alternative gas suppliers that do not have electronic
18 answering capability that meets these requirements shall
19 notify the Manager of the Commission's Consumer Services
20 Division or its successor within 30 days following the
21 effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General
22 Assembly and work with Staff to develop individualized
23 reporting requirements as to the call volume and
24 responsiveness of the call center.
25 On or before March 1 of every year, each entity shall
26 file a report with the Chief Clerk of the Commission for

SB0651 Engrossed- 21 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 the preceding calendar year on its answer time and abandon
2 call rate for its call center. A copy of the report shall
3 be sent to the Manager of the Consumer Services Division or
4 its successor; .
5 (6) beginning January 1, 2020 and every January 1
6 thereafter, shall submit to the Commission and the Office
7 of the Attorney General the rates the retail gas supplier
8 charged to residential customers in the prior year,
9 including each distinct rate charged and whether the rate
10 was a fixed or variable rate, the basis for the variable
11 rate, and any fees charged in addition to the supply rate,
12 including monthly fees, flat fees, or other service
13 charges; and
14 (7) shall make publicly available on its website,
15 without the need for a customer login, rate information for
16 all of its variable, time-of-use, and fixed rate contracts
17 currently available to residential customers, including
18 but not limited to, fixed monthly charges, early
19 termination fees, and per therm charges.
20 (c) An alternative gas supplier shall not submit or execute
21a change in a customer's selection of a natural gas provider
22unless and until (i) the alternative gas supplier first
23discloses all material terms and conditions of the offer,
24including price, to the customer; (ii) the alternative gas
25supplier has obtained the customer's express agreement to
26accept the offer after the disclosure of all material terms and

SB0651 Engrossed- 22 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1conditions of the offer; and (iii) the alternative gas supplier
2has confirmed the request for a change in accordance with one
3of the following procedures:
4 (1) The alternative gas supplier has obtained the
5 customer's written or electronically signed authorization
6 in a form that meets the following requirements:
7 (A) An alternative gas supplier shall obtain any
8 necessary written or electronically signed
9 authorization from a customer for a change in natural
10 gas service by using a letter of agency as specified in
11 this Section. Any letter of agency that does not
12 conform with this Section is invalid.
13 (B) The letter of agency shall be a separate
14 document (or an easily separable document containing
15 only the authorization language described in item (E)
16 of this paragraph (1)) whose sole purpose is to
17 authorize a natural gas provider change. The letter of
18 agency must be signed and dated by the customer
19 requesting the natural gas provider change.
20 (C) The letter of agency shall not be combined with
21 inducements of any kind on the same document.
22 (D) Notwithstanding items (A) and (B) of this
23 paragraph (1), the letter of agency may be combined
24 with checks that contain only the required letter of
25 agency language prescribed in item (E) of this
26 paragraph (1) and the necessary information to make the

SB0651 Engrossed- 23 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 check a negotiable instrument. The letter of agency
2 check shall not contain any promotional language or
3 material. The letter of agency check shall contain in
4 easily readable, bold face type on the face of the
5 check a notice that the consumer is authorizing a
6 natural gas provider change by signing the check. The
7 letter of agency language also shall be placed near the
8 signature line on the back of the check.
9 (E) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be
10 printed with a print of sufficient size to be clearly
11 legible and must contain clear and unambiguous
12 language that confirms:
13 (i) the customer's billing name and address;
14 (ii) the decision to change the natural gas
15 provider from the current provider to the
16 prospective alternative gas supplier;
17 (iii) the terms, conditions, and nature of the
18 service to be provided to the customer, including,
19 but not limited to, the rates for the service
20 contracted for by the customer; and
21 (iv) that the customer understands that any
22 natural gas provider selection the customer
23 chooses may involve a charge to the customer for
24 changing the customer's natural gas provider.
25 (F) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require
26 that a customer take some action in order to retain the

SB0651 Engrossed- 24 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 customer's current natural gas provider.
2 (G) If any portion of a letter of agency is
3 translated into another language, then all portions of
4 the letter of agency must be translated into that
5 language.
6 (2) An appropriately qualified independent third party
7 has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth
8 in this paragraph (2), the customer's oral authorization to
9 change natural gas providers that confirms and includes
10 appropriate verification data. The independent third party
11 must (i) not be owned, managed, controlled, or directed by
12 the alternative gas supplier or the alternative gas
13 supplier's marketing agent; (ii) not have any financial
14 incentive to confirm provider change requests for the
15 alternative gas supplier or the alternative gas supplier's
16 marketing agent; and (iii) operate in a location physically
17 separate from the alternative gas supplier or the
18 alternative gas supplier's marketing agent. Automated
19 third-party verification systems and 3-way conference
20 calls may be used for verification purposes so long as the
21 other requirements of this paragraph (2) are satisfied. An
22 alternative gas supplier or alternative gas supplier's
23 sales representative initiating a 3-way conference call or
24 a call through an automated verification system must drop
25 off the call once the 3-way connection has been
26 established. All third-party verification methods shall

SB0651 Engrossed- 25 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 elicit, at a minimum, the following information:
2 (A) the identity of the customer;
3 (B) confirmation that the person on the call is
4 authorized to make the provider change;
5 (C) confirmation that the person on the call wants
6 to make the provider change;
7 (D) the names of the providers affected by the
8 change;
9 (E) the service address of the service to be
10 switched; and
11 (F) the price of the service to be provided and the
12 material terms and conditions of the service being
13 offered, including whether any early termination fees
14 apply.
15 Third-party verifiers may not market the alternative
16 gas supplier's services by providing additional
17 information. All third-party verifications shall be
18 conducted in the same language that was used in the
19 underlying sales transaction and shall be recorded in their
20 entirety. Submitting alternative gas suppliers shall
21 maintain and preserve audio records of verification of
22 customer authorization for a minimum period of 2 years
23 after obtaining the verification. Automated systems must
24 provide customers with an option to speak with a live
25 person at any time during the call.
26 (3) The alternative gas supplier has obtained the

SB0651 Engrossed- 26 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 customer's authorization via an automated verification
2 system to change natural gas service via telephone. An
3 automated verification system is an electronic system
4 that, through pre-recorded prompts, elicits voice
5 responses, touchtone responses, or both, from the customer
6 and records both the prompts and the customer's responses.
7 Such authorization must elicit the information in
8 paragraph (2)(A) through (F) of this subsection (c).
9 Alternative gas suppliers electing to confirm sales
10 electronically through an automated verification system
11 shall establish one or more toll-free telephone numbers
12 exclusively for that purpose. Calls to the number or
13 numbers shall connect a customer to a voice response unit,
14 or similar mechanism, that makes a date-stamped,
15 time-stamped recording of the required information
16 regarding the alternative gas supplier change.
17 The alternative gas supplier shall not use such
18 electronic authorization systems to market its services.
19 (4) When a consumer initiates the call to the
20 prospective alternative gas supplier, in order to enroll
21 the consumer as a customer, the prospective alternative gas
22 supplier must, with the consent of the customer, make a
23 date-stamped, time-stamped audio recording that elicits,
24 at a minimum, the following information:
25 (A) the identity of the customer;
26 (B) confirmation that the person on the call is

SB0651 Engrossed- 27 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 authorized to make the provider change;
2 (C) confirmation that the person on the call wants
3 to make the provider change;
4 (D) the names of the providers affected by the
5 change;
6 (E) the service address of the service to be
7 switched; and
8 (F) the price of the service to be supplied and the
9 material terms and conditions of the service being
10 offered, including whether any early termination fees
11 apply.
12 Submitting alternative gas suppliers shall maintain
13 and preserve the audio records containing the information
14 set forth above for a minimum period of 2 years.
15 (5) In the event that a customer enrolls for service
16 from an alternative gas supplier via an Internet website,
17 the alternative gas supplier shall obtain an
18 electronically signed letter of agency in accordance with
19 paragraph (1) of this subsection (c) and any customer
20 information shall be protected in accordance with all
21 applicable statutes and regulations. In addition, an
22 alternative gas supplier shall provide the following when
23 marketing via an Internet website:
24 (A) The Internet enrollment website shall, at a
25 minimum, include:
26 (i) a copy of the alternative gas supplier's

SB0651 Engrossed- 28 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 customer contract that clearly and conspicuously
2 discloses all terms and conditions; and
3 (ii) a conspicuous prompt for the customer to
4 print or save a copy of the contract.
5 (B) Any electronic version of the contract shall be
6 identified by version number, in order to ensure the
7 ability to verify the particular contract to which the
8 customer assents.
9 (C) Throughout the duration of the alternative gas
10 supplier's contract with a customer, the alternative
11 gas supplier shall retain and, within 3 business days
12 of the customer's request, provide to the customer an
13 e-mail, paper, or facsimile of the terms and conditions
14 of the numbered contract version to which the customer
15 assents.
16 (D) The alternative gas supplier shall provide a
17 mechanism by which both the submission and receipt of
18 the electronic letter of agency are recorded by time
19 and date.
20 (E) After the customer completes the electronic
21 letter of agency, the alternative gas supplier shall
22 disclose conspicuously through its website that the
23 customer has been enrolled, and the alternative gas
24 supplier shall provide the customer an enrollment
25 confirmation number.
26 (6) When a customer is solicited in person by the

SB0651 Engrossed- 29 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 alternative gas supplier's sales agent, the alternative
2 gas supplier may only obtain the customer's authorization
3 to change natural gas service through the method provided
4 for in paragraph (2) of this subsection (c).
5 Alternative gas suppliers must be in compliance with this
6subsection (c) within 90 days after the effective date of this
7amendatory Act of the 95th General Assembly.
8 (d) Complaints may be filed with the Commission under this
9Section by a customer whose natural gas service has been
10provided by an alternative gas supplier in a manner not in
11compliance with subsection (c) of this Section. If, after
12notice and hearing, the Commission finds that an alternative
13gas supplier has violated subsection (c), then the Commission
14may in its discretion do any one or more of the following:
15 (1) Require the violating alternative gas supplier to
16 refund the customer charges collected in excess of those
17 that would have been charged by the customer's authorized
18 natural gas provider.
19 (2) Require the violating alternative gas supplier to
20 pay to the customer's authorized natural gas provider the
21 amount the authorized natural gas provider would have
22 collected for natural gas service. The Commission is
23 authorized to reduce this payment by any amount already
24 paid by the violating alternative gas supplier to the
25 customer's authorized natural gas provider.
26 (3) Require the violating alternative gas supplier to

SB0651 Engrossed- 30 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 pay a fine of up to $1,000 into the Public Utility Fund for
2 each repeated and intentional violation of this Section.
3 (4) Issue a cease and desist order.
4 (5) For a pattern of violation of this Section or for
5 intentionally violating a cease and desist order, revoke
6 the violating alternative gas supplier's certificate of
7 service authority.
8 (e) No alternative gas supplier shall:
9 (1) enter into or employ any arrangements which have
10 the effect of preventing any customer from having access to
11 the services of the gas utility in whose service area the
12 customer is located;
13 (2) charge customers for such access;
14 (3) bill for goods or services not authorized by the
15 customer; or
16 (4) bill for a disputed amount where the alternative
17 gas supplier has been provided notice of such dispute. The
18 supplier shall attempt to resolve a dispute with the
19 customer. When the dispute is not resolved to the
20 customer's satisfaction, the supplier shall inform the
21 customer of the right to file an informal complaint with
22 the Commission and provide contact information. While the
23 pending dispute is active at the Commission, an alternative
24 gas supplier may bill only for the undisputed amount until
25 the Commission has taken final action on the complaint.
26 (f) An alternative gas supplier that is certified to serve

SB0651 Engrossed- 31 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1residential or small commercial customers shall not:
2 (1) deny service to a customer or group of customers
3 nor establish any differences as to prices, terms,
4 conditions, services, products, facilities, or in any
5 other respect, whereby such denial or differences are based
6 upon race, gender, or income, except as provided in Section
7 19-116;
8 (2) deny service based on locality, nor establish any
9 unreasonable difference as to prices, terms, conditions,
10 services, products, or facilities as between localities;
11 (3) include in any agreement a provision that obligates
12 a customer to the terms of the agreement if the customer
13 (i) moves outside the State of Illinois; (ii) moves to a
14 location without a transportation service program; or
15 (iii) moves to a location where the customer will not
16 require natural gas service, provided that nothing in this
17 subsection precludes an alternative gas supplier from
18 taking any action otherwise available to it to collect a
19 debt that arises out of service provided to the customer
20 before the customer moved; or
21 (4) assign the agreement to any alternative natural gas
22 supplier, unless:
23 (A) the supplier is an alternative gas supplier
24 certified by the Commission;
25 (B) the rates, terms, and conditions of the
26 agreement being assigned do not change during the

SB0651 Engrossed- 32 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 remainder of the time covered by the agreement;
2 (C) the customer is given no less than 30 days
3 prior written notice of the assignment and contact
4 information for the new supplier; and
5 (D) the supplier assigning the contract provides
6 contact information that a customer can use to resolve
7 a dispute.
8 (g) An alternative gas supplier shall comply with the
9following requirements with respect to the marketing,
10offering, and provision of products or services:
11 (1) All Any marketing materials, including, but not
12 limited to, electronic marketing materials, in-person
13 solicitations, and telephone solicitations, which make
14 statements concerning prices, terms, and conditions of
15 service shall contain information that adequately
16 discloses the prices, terms, and conditions of the products
17 or services and shall disclose the utility gas supply cost
18 rates per therm price to compare available from the
19 Illinois Commerce Commission website applicable at the
20 time the alternative retail gas supplier is offering or
21 selling the products or services to the customer and shall
22 disclose the date on which the utility gas supply cost
23 rates per therm became effective and the date on which they
24 will expire. All marketing materials, including, but not
25 limited to, electronic marketing materials, in-person
26 solicitations, and telephone solicitations, shall include

SB0651 Engrossed- 33 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 the following statement: .
2 "(Name of the alternative retail gas supplier) is
3 not the same entity as your gas delivery company. You
4 are not required to enroll with (name of alternative
5 retail gas supplier). Beginning on (effective date),
6 the utility gas supply cost rate per therm is (cost).
7 The utility gas supply cost will expire on (expiration
8 date). For more information go to the Illinois Commerce
9 Commission's free website at
10 www.icc.illinois.gov/ags/consumereducation.aspx.".
11 This paragraph (1) does not apply to goodwill or
12 institutional advertising.
13 (2) Before any customer is switched from another
14 supplier, the alternative gas supplier shall give the
15 customer written information that clearly and
16 conspicuously discloses, in plain language, the prices,
17 terms, and conditions of the products and services being
18 offered and sold to the customer. This written information
19 shall be provided in a language in which the customer
20 subject to the marketing or solicitation is able to
21 understand and communicate, and the alternative retail gas
22 supplier shall comply with Section 2N of the Consumer Fraud
23 and Deceptive Business Practices Act. Nothing in this
24 paragraph (2) may be read to relieve an alternative gas
25 supplier from the duties imposed on it by item (3) of
26 subsection (c) of Section 2DDD of the Consumer Fraud and

SB0651 Engrossed- 34 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 Deceptive Business Practices Act.
2 (3) The alternative gas supplier shall provide to the
3 customer:
4 (A) accurate, timely, and itemized billing
5 statements that describe the products and services
6 provided to the customer and their prices and that
7 specify the gas consumption amount and any service
8 charges and taxes; provided that this item (g)(3)(A)
9 does not apply to small commercial customers;
10 (B) billing statements that clearly and
11 conspicuously discloses the name and contact
12 information for the alternative gas supplier;
13 (C) an additional statement, at least annually,
14 that adequately discloses the average monthly prices,
15 and the terms and conditions, of the products and
16 services sold to the customer; provided that this item
17 (g)(3)(C) does not apply to small commercial
18 customers;
19 (D) refunds of any deposits with interest within 30
20 days after the date that the customer changes gas
21 suppliers or discontinues service if the customer has
22 satisfied all of his or her outstanding financial
23 obligations to the alternative gas supplier at an
24 interest rate set by the Commission which shall be the
25 same as that required of gas utilities; and
26 (E) refunds, in a timely fashion, of all undisputed

SB0651 Engrossed- 35 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 overpayments upon the oral or written request of the
2 customer.
3 (4) An alternative gas supplier and its sales agents
4 shall refrain from any direct marketing or soliciting to
5 consumers on the gas utility's "Do Not Contact List", which
6 the alternative gas supplier shall obtain on the 15th
7 calendar day of the month from the gas utility in whose
8 service area the consumer is provided with gas service. If
9 the 15th calendar day is a non-business day, then the
10 alternative gas supplier shall obtain the list on the next
11 business day following the 15th calendar day of that month.
12 (5) Early Termination.
13 (A) Any agreement that contains an early
14 termination clause shall disclose the amount of the
15 early termination fee, provided that any early
16 termination fee or penalty shall not exceed $50 total,
17 regardless of whether or not the agreement is a
18 multiyear agreement.
19 (B) In any agreement that contains an early
20 termination clause, an alternative gas supplier shall
21 provide the customer the opportunity to terminate the
22 agreement without any termination fee or penalty
23 within 10 business days after the date of the first
24 bill issued to the customer for products or services
25 provided by the alternative gas supplier. The
26 agreement shall disclose the opportunity and provide a

SB0651 Engrossed- 36 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 toll-free phone number that the customer may call in
2 order to terminate the agreement.
3 (6) Within 2 business days after electronic receipt of
4 a customer switch from the alternative gas supplier and
5 confirmation of eligibility, the gas utility shall provide
6 the customer written notice confirming the switch. The gas
7 utility shall not switch the service until 10 business days
8 after the date on the notice to the customer.
9 (7) The alternative gas supplier shall provide each
10 customer the opportunity to rescind its agreement without
11 penalty within 10 business days after the date on the gas
12 utility notice to the customer. The alternative gas
13 supplier shall disclose all of the following:
14 (A) that the gas utility shall send a notice
15 confirming the switch;
16 (B) that from the date the utility issues the
17 notice confirming the switch, the customer shall have
18 10 business days to rescind the switch without penalty;
19 (C) that the customer shall contact the gas utility
20 or the alternative gas supplier to rescind the switch;
21 and
22 (D) the contact information for the gas utility.
23 The alternative gas supplier disclosure shall be
24 included in its sales solicitations, contracts, and all
25 applicable sales verification scripts.
26 (8) All solicitations shall be conducted in,

SB0651 Engrossed- 37 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 translated into, and provided in a language in which the
2 customer subject to the marketing or solicitation is able
3 to understand and communicate. An alternative retail gas
4 supplier shall not solicit an enrollment of or enroll any
5 customer if the alternative gas supplier is unable to
6 communicate and provide marketing materials in a language
7 in which the customer subject to the marketing or
8 solicitation is able to understand and communicate.
9 (h) An alternative gas supplier may limit the overall size
10or availability of a service offering by specifying one or more
11of the following:
12 (1) a maximum number of customers and maximum amount of
13 gas load to be served;
14 (2) time period during which the offering will be
15 available; or
16 (3) other comparable limitation, but not including the
17 geographic locations of customers within the area which the
18 alternative gas supplier is certificated to serve.
19 The alternative gas supplier shall file the terms and
20conditions of such service offering including the applicable
21limitations with the Commission prior to making the service
22offering available to customers.
23 (i) Nothing in this Section shall be construed as
24preventing an alternative gas supplier that is an affiliate of,
25or which contracts with, (i) an industry or trade organization
26or association, (ii) a membership organization or association

SB0651 Engrossed- 38 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1that exists for a purpose other than the purchase of gas, or
2(iii) another organization that meets criteria established in a
3rule adopted by the Commission from offering through the
4organization or association services at prices, terms and
5conditions that are available solely to the members of the
6organization or association.
7(Source: P.A. 95-1051, eff. 4-10-09.)
8 (220 ILCS 5/19-116 new)
9 Sec. 19-116. Alternative retail gas supplier utility
10assistance recipient.
11 (a) Beginning January 1, 2020, an alternative retail gas
12supplier shall not knowingly submit an enrollment to change a
13customer's gas supply service if the gas utility's records
14indicate that the customer either received financial
15assistance in the last 12 months from the Low Income Home
16Energy Assistance Program or, at the time of enrollment, is
17participating in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan, unless
18the customer's change in gas supply service is pursuant to a
19Commission-approved savings guarantee plan as described in
20subsection (b).
21 (b) Beginning July 1, 2020, an alternative retail gas
22supplier may apply to the Commission to offer a savings
23guarantee plan to recipients of the Low Income Home Energy
24Assistance Program or Percentage of Income Payment Plan
25funding. The Commission shall initiate a public, docketed

SB0651 Engrossed- 39 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1proceeding to consider whether or not to approve an alternative
2retail gas supplier's application to offer a savings guarantee
3plan. At a minimum, the savings guarantee plan shall charge
4customers for gas supply at an amount that is less than the gas
5utility supply rate. The Commission shall adopt rules to
6implement this subsection (b).
7 (c) An agreement entered into between an alternative retail
8gas supplier and a consumer who either received financial
9assistance in the last 12 months from the Low Income Home
10Energy Assistance Program or, at the time of enrollment, is
11participating in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan is void
12and unenforceable. Before the gas utility executes a change in
13a customer's supplier, other than a change pursuant to a
14Commission-approved savings guarantee plan as described in
15subsection (b), the gas utility shall confirm at the time of
16the request that its records do not indicate that the customer
17either received financial assistance within the preceding 12
18months from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program or,
19at the time of enrollment, is participating in the Percentage
20of Income Payment Plan and, if its records so indicate, shall
21reject the change request. Absent willful or wanton misconduct,
22no gas utility shall be held liable for any error in acting or
23failing to act pursuant to this Section.
24 (220 ILCS 5/19-130)
25 Sec. 19-130. Commission study and report. The Commission's

SB0651 Engrossed- 40 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1Office of Retail Market Development shall prepare an annual
2report regarding the development of competitive retail natural
3gas markets in Illinois. The Office shall monitor existing
4competitive conditions in Illinois, identify barriers to
5retail competition for all customer classes, and actively
6explore and propose to the Commission and to the General
7Assembly solutions to overcome identified barriers. Solutions
8proposed by the Office to promote retail competition must also
9promote safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas service.
10 On or before October 1 of each year, beginning in 2015, the
11Director shall submit a report to the Commission, the General
12Assembly, and the Governor, that includes, at a minimum, the
13following information:
14 (1) an analysis of the status and development of the
15 retail natural gas market in the State of Illinois; and
16 (2) a discussion of any identified barriers to the
17 development of competitive retail natural gas markets in
18 Illinois and proposed solutions to overcome identified
19 barriers; and
20 (3) any other information the Office considers
21 significant in assessing the development of natural gas
22 markets in the State of Illinois.
23 Beginning in 2021, the report shall also include the
24information submitted to the Commission pursuant to paragraph
25(6) of subsection (b) of Section 19-115.
26(Source: P.A. 97-223, eff. 1-1-12; 98-1121, eff. 8-26-14.)

SB0651 Engrossed- 41 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (220 ILCS 5/19-135)
2 Sec. 19-135. Single billing.
3 (a) It is the intent of the General Assembly that in any
4service area where customers are able to choose their natural
5gas supplier, a single billing option shall be offered to
6customers for both the services provided by the alternative gas
7supplier and the delivery services provided by the gas utility.
8A gas utility shall file a tariff pursuant to Article IX of
9this Act that allows alternative gas suppliers to issue single
10bills to residential and small commercial customers for both
11the services provided by the alternative gas supplier and the
12delivery services provided by the gas utility to customers;
13provided that if a form of single billing is being offered in a
14gas utility's service area on the effective date of this
15amendatory Act of the 92nd General Assembly, that form of
16single billing shall remain in effect unless and until
17otherwise ordered by the Commission.
18 (b) Every alternative gas supplier that issues a single
19bill for delivery and supply shall include on the single bill
20issued to a residential customer the current utility gas supply
21cost rate per therm that would apply to the customer for the
22billing period if the customer obtained supply from the
23utility, including all fixed or monthly supply charges and
24other charges, credits, or rates that are part of the gas
25supply price.

SB0651 Engrossed- 42 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (c) Every gas utility that offers supply choice and
2provides delivery and alternative gas supply service on a
3single bill to its residential customers shall include on the
4bill of each residential customer who purchases supply services
5from an alternative gas supplier the total supply charge of the
6gas utility for the billing period that would apply to the
7customer for the billing period if the customer obtained supply
8from the utility, including all fixed or monthly supply charges
9and other charges, credits, or rates that are part of the gas
10supply price.
11(Source: P.A. 92-852, eff. 8-26-02.)
12 (220 ILCS 5/20-110)
13 Sec. 20-110. Office of Retail Market Development. Within 90
14days after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the
1594th General Assembly, subject to appropriation, the
16Commission shall establish an Office of Retail Market
17Development and employ on its staff a Director of Retail Market
18Development to oversee the Office. The Director shall have
19authority to employ or otherwise retain at least 2
20professionals dedicated to the task of actively seeking out
21ways to promote retail competition in Illinois to benefit all
22Illinois consumers.
23 The Office shall actively seek input from all interested
24parties and shall develop a thorough understanding and critical
25analyses of the tools and techniques used to promote retail

SB0651 Engrossed- 43 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1competition in other states.
2 The Office shall monitor existing competitive conditions
3in Illinois, identify barriers to retail competition for all
4customer classes, and actively explore and propose to the
5Commission and to the General Assembly solutions to overcome
6identified barriers. The Director may include municipal
7aggregation of customers and creating and designing customer
8choice programs as tools for retail market development.
9Solutions proposed by the Office to promote retail competition
10must also promote safe, reliable, and affordable electric
11service.
12 On or before June 30 of each year, the Director shall
13submit a report to the Commission, the General Assembly, and
14the Governor, that details specific accomplishments achieved
15by the Office in the prior 12 months in promoting retail
16electric competition and that suggests administrative and
17legislative action necessary to promote further improvements
18in retail electric competition. On or before June 30, 2021 and
19every year thereafter, the report shall include the information
20submitted to the Commission pursuant to paragraph (iii) of
21subsection (a) of Section 16-115A.
22(Source: P.A. 94-1095, eff. 2-2-07.)
23 Section 10. The Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
24Practices Act is amended by changing Sections 2EE and 2DDD as
25follows:

SB0651 Engrossed- 44 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (815 ILCS 505/2EE)
2 Sec. 2EE. Alternative retail electric supplier Electric
3service provider selection.
4 (a) An alternative retail electric supplier electric
5service provider shall not submit or execute a change in a
6consumer's subscriber's selection of a provider of electric
7service unless and until:
8 (i) the alternative retail electric supplier provider
9 first discloses all material terms and conditions of the
10 offer to the consumer subscriber;
11 (ii) the alternative retail electric supplier
12 discloses the utility electric supply price to compare,
13 which shall be the sum of the electric supply charge and
14 the transmission services charge, and shall not include the
15 purchased electricity adjustment, applicable at the time
16 the offer is made to the consumer;
17 (iii) the alternative retail electric provider
18 discloses the following statement:
19 "(Name of the alternative retail electric
20 supplier) is not the same entity as your electric
21 delivery company. You are not required to enroll with
22 (name of alternative retail electric supplier). As of
23 (effective date), the electric supply price to compare
24 is currently (price in cents per kilowatt hour). The
25 electric utility electric supply price will expire on

SB0651 Engrossed- 45 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (expiration date). The utility electric supply price
2 to compare does not include the purchased electricity
3 adjustment factor that may range between +.5 cents and -
4 .5 cents per kilowatt hour. For more information go to
5 the Illinois Commerce Commission's free website at
6 www.pluginillinois.org.";
7 (iv) the alternative retail electric supplier has
8 obtained the consumer's express agreement to accept the
9 offer after the disclosure of all material terms and
10 conditions of the offer; and
11 (v) the alternative retail electric supplier has
12 confirmed the request for a change in accordance with one
13 of the following procedures: (ii) the provider has obtained
14 the subscriber's express agreement to accept the offer
15 after the disclosure of all material terms and conditions
16 of the offer; and (iii) the provider has confirmed the
17 request for a change in accordance with one of the
18 following procedures:
19 (A) (a) The new alternative retail electric
20 supplier electric service provider has obtained the
21 consumer's subscriber's written or electronically
22 signed authorization in a form that meets the following
23 requirements:
24 (1) An alternative retail electric supplier
25 electric service provider shall obtain any
26 necessary written or electronically signed

SB0651 Engrossed- 46 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 authorization from a consumer subscriber for a
2 change in electric service by using a letter of
3 agency as specified in this Section. Any letter of
4 agency that does not conform with this Section is
5 invalid.
6 (2) The letter of agency shall be a separate
7 document (an easily separable document containing
8 only the authorization language described in
9 subparagraph (5) (a)(5) of this Section) whose
10 sole purpose is to authorize an electric service
11 provider change. The letter of agency must be
12 signed and dated by the consumer subscriber
13 requesting the electric service provider change.
14 (3) The letter of agency shall not be combined
15 with inducements of any kind on the same document.
16 (4) Notwithstanding subparagraphs (1) (a)(1)
17 and (2) (a)(2) of this Section, the letter of
18 agency may be combined with checks that contain
19 only the required letter of agency language
20 prescribed in subparagraph (5) (a)(5) of this
21 Section and the necessary information to make the
22 check a negotiable instrument. The letter of
23 agency check shall not contain any promotional
24 language or material. The letter of agency check
25 shall contain in easily readable, bold-face type
26 on the face of the check, a notice that the

SB0651 Engrossed- 47 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 consumer is authorizing an electric service
2 provider change by signing the check. The letter of
3 agency language also shall be placed near the
4 signature line on the back of the check.
5 (5) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be
6 printed with a print of sufficient size to be
7 clearly legible, and must contain clear and
8 unambiguous language that confirms:
9 (i) The consumer's subscriber's billing
10 name and address;
11 (ii) The decision to change the electric
12 service provider from the current provider to
13 the prospective provider;
14 (iii) The terms, conditions, and nature of
15 the service to be provided to the consumer
16 subscriber must be clearly and conspicuously
17 disclosed, in writing, and an alternative
18 retail electric supplier electric service
19 provider must directly establish the rates for
20 the service contracted for by the consumer
21 subscriber; and
22 (iv) That the consumer subscriber
23 understand that any alternative retail
24 electric supplier electric service provider
25 selection the consumer subscriber chooses may
26 involve a charge to the consumer subscriber for

SB0651 Engrossed- 48 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 changing the consumer's subscriber's electric
2 service provider.
3 (6) Letters of agency shall not suggest or
4 require that a consumer subscriber take some
5 action in order to retain the consumer's
6 subscriber's current electric service provider.
7 (7) If any portion of a letter of agency is
8 translated into another language, then all
9 portions of the letter of agency must be translated
10 into that language.
11 (B) (b) An appropriately qualified independent
12 third party has obtained, in accordance with the
13 procedures set forth in this subsection (b), the
14 consumer's subscriber's oral authorization to change
15 electric suppliers that confirms and includes
16 appropriate verification data. The independent third
17 party (i) must not be owned, managed, controlled, or
18 directed by the supplier or the supplier's marketing
19 agent; (ii) must not have any financial incentive to
20 confirm supplier change requests for the supplier or
21 the supplier's marketing agent; and (iii) must operate
22 in a location physically separate from the supplier or
23 the supplier's marketing agent.
24 Automated third-party verification systems and
25 3-way conference calls may be used for verification
26 purposes so long as the other requirements of this

SB0651 Engrossed- 49 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 subsection (b) are satisfied.
2 A supplier or supplier's sales representative
3 initiating a 3-way conference call or a call through an
4 automated verification system must drop off the call
5 once the 3-way connection has been established.
6 All third-party verification methods shall elicit,
7 at a minimum, the following information: (i) the
8 identity of the consumer subscriber; (ii) confirmation
9 that the person on the call is authorized to make the
10 supplier change; (iii) confirmation that the person on
11 the call wants to make the supplier change; (iv) the
12 names of the suppliers affected by the change; (v) the
13 service address of the supply to be switched; and (vi)
14 the price of the service to be supplied and the
15 material terms and conditions of the service being
16 offered, including whether any early termination fees
17 apply. Third-party verifiers may not market the
18 supplier's services by providing additional
19 information, including information regarding
20 procedures to block or otherwise freeze an account
21 against further changes.
22 All third-party verifications shall be conducted
23 in the same language that was used in the underlying
24 sales transaction and shall be recorded in their
25 entirety. Submitting suppliers shall maintain and
26 preserve audio records of verification of subscriber

SB0651 Engrossed- 50 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 authorization for a minimum period of 2 years after
2 obtaining the verification. Automated systems must
3 provide consumers with an option to speak with a live
4 person at any time during the call. Each disclosure
5 made during the third-party verification must be made
6 individually to obtain clear acknowledgment of each
7 disclosure. The alternative retail electric supplier
8 must be in a location where he or she cannot hear the
9 customer while the third-party verification is
10 conducted. The alternative retail electric supplier
11 shall not contact the customer after the third-party
12 verification for a period of 24 hours unless the
13 customer initiates the contact.
14 (C) (c) When a consumer subscriber initiates the
15 call to the prospective alternative retail electric
16 supplier electric supplier, in order to enroll the
17 consumer subscriber as a customer, the prospective
18 alternative retail electric supplier must, with the
19 consent of the customer, make a date-stamped,
20 time-stamped audio recording that elicits, at a
21 minimum, the following information:
22 (1) the identity of the customer subscriber;
23 (2) confirmation that the person on the call is
24 authorized to make the supplier change;
25 (3) confirmation that the person on the call
26 wants to make the supplier change;

SB0651 Engrossed- 51 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (4) the names of the suppliers affected by the
2 change;
3 (5) the service address of the supply to be
4 switched; and
5 (6) the price of the service to be supplied and
6 the material terms and conditions of the service
7 being offered, including whether any early
8 termination fees apply.
9 Submitting suppliers shall maintain and preserve
10 the audio records containing the information set forth
11 above for a minimum period of 2 years.
12 (b) An alternative retail electric supplier electric
13service provider also shall not submit or execute a change in a
14consumer's selection of a provider of electric service unless
15it complies with the following requirements of this subsection
16(b). It is a violation of this Section for an alternative
17retail electric supplier to fail to comply with this subsection
18(b).
19 (1) An alternative retail electric supplier shall not
20 utilize the name of a public utility in any manner that is
21 deceptive or misleading, including, but not limited to,
22 implying or otherwise leading a customer to believe that an
23 alternative retail electric supplier is soliciting on
24 behalf of or is an agent of a utility. An alternative
25 retail electric supplier shall not utilize the name, or any
26 other identifying insignia, graphics, or wording that has

SB0651 Engrossed- 52 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 been used at any time to represent a public utility company
2 or its services, to identify, label, or define any of its
3 electric power and energy service offers. An alternative
4 retail electric supplier that is an affiliate of an
5 Illinois public utility and that was doing business in
6 Illinois providing alternative retail electric service on
7 January 1, 2016 may continue to use that public utility's
8 name, logo, identifying insignia, graphics, or wording in
9 its business operations occurring outside the service
10 territory of the public utility with which it is
11 affiliated.
12 (2) During a solicitation, an alternative retail
13 electric supplier shall state that he or she represents an
14 independent seller of electric power and energy service
15 certified by the Illinois Commerce Commission and that he
16 or she is not employed by, representing, endorsed by, or
17 acting on behalf of, a utility, or a utility program, a
18 consumer group or consumer group program, or a governmental
19 body, unless the alternative retail electric supplier has
20 entered into a contractual arrangement with the
21 governmental body and has been authorized by the
22 governmental body to make the statements.
23 (3) Alternative retail electric suppliers who engage
24 in in-person solicitation for the purpose of selling
25 electric power and energy service offered by the
26 alternative retail electric supplier shall display

SB0651 Engrossed- 53 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 identification on an outer garment. This identification
2 shall be visible at all times and prominently display the
3 following: (i) the alternative retail electric supplier
4 agent's full name in reasonable size font; (ii) an agent
5 identification number; (iii) a photograph of the
6 alternative retail electric supplier agent; and (iv) the
7 trade name and logo of the alternative retail electric
8 supplier the agent is representing. If the agent is selling
9 electric power and energy services from multiple
10 alternative retail electric supplier to the customer, the
11 identification shall display the trade name and logo of the
12 agent, broker, or consultant entity as that entity is
13 defined in Section 16-115C of the Public Utilities Act.
14 An alternative retail electric supplier agent shall
15 leave the premises at the customer's, owner's, or
16 occupant's request. The alternative retail electric
17 supplier agent shall, during the sales presentation to the
18 customer, verbally disclose all material terms and
19 conditions of the offer. A copy of the Uniform Disclosure
20 Statement described in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 412.115 and
21 412.Appendix A is to be left with the customer at the
22 conclusion of the visit unless a customer refuses to accept
23 a copy. An alternative retail electric supplier agent may
24 provide the Uniform Disclosure Statement electronically
25 instead of in paper form to a customer upon that customer's
26 request. The alternative retail electric supplier shall

SB0651 Engrossed- 54 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 also offer, at the time of the initiation of the
2 solicitation, a business card or other material that lists
3 the agent's name, identification number and title, and the
4 alternative retail electric suppliers' name and contact
5 information, including telephone number. The alternative
6 retail electric supplier shall not conduct any in-person
7 solicitations at any building or premises where any sign,
8 notice, or declaration of any description whatsoever is
9 posted that prohibits sales, marketing, or solicitations.
10 The alternative retail electric supplier agent shall
11 obtain consent to enter multi-unit residential dwellings.
12 Consent obtained to enter a multi-unit dwelling from one
13 prospective customer or occupant of the dwelling shall not
14 constitute consent to market to any other prospective
15 customers in the dwelling without separate consent.
16 (4) An alternative retail electric supplier who
17 contacts customers by telephone for the purpose of selling
18 electric power and energy service shall provide the agent's
19 name and identification number. An alternative retail
20 electric supplier agent shall, during the sales
21 presentation to the customer, disclose all material terms
22 and conditions of the offer unless the sales presentation
23 is terminated by the customer before the disclosures are
24 completed. Any telemarketing solicitations that lead to a
25 telephone enrollment must be recorded and retained for a
26 minimum of 2 years. All telemarketing calls that do not

SB0651 Engrossed- 55 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 lead to a telephone enrollment, but last at least 2
2 minutes, shall be recorded and retained for a minimum of 6
3 months.
4 (5) During an inbound enrollment call, an alternative
5 retail electric supplier shall state that he or she
6 represents an independent seller of electric power and
7 energy service certified by the Illinois Commerce
8 Commission. An alternative retail electric supplier shall
9 not state or otherwise imply that he or she is employed by,
10 representing, endorsed by, or acting on behalf of a utility
11 or a utility program, a consumer group or consumer group
12 program, or a governmental body, unless the alternative
13 retail electric supplier has entered into a contractual
14 arrangement with the governmental body and has been
15 authorized by the governmental body to make the statements.
16 The alternative retail electric supplier shall verbally
17 disclose all material terms and conditions of the offer.
18 All inbound enrollment calls that lead to an enrollment
19 shall be recorded, and the recordings shall be retained for
20 a minimum of 2 years. An inbound enrollment call that does
21 not lead to an enrollment, but lasts at least 2 minutes,
22 shall be retained for a minimum of 6 months. The
23 alternative retail electric supplier shall send the
24 Uniform Disclosure Statement and contract to the customer
25 within 3 business days after the electric utility's
26 confirmation to the alternative retail electric supplier

SB0651 Engrossed- 56 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 of an accepted enrollment.
2 (6) If an alternative retail electric supplier
3 contacts customers for enrollment for electric power and
4 energy service by direct mail, the direct mail material
5 shall include all material terms and conditions of the
6 products or services offered. Statements in direct mail
7 material shall not claim that the alternative retail
8 electric supplier represents, is endorsed by, or is acting
9 on behalf of a utility or a utility program, a consumer
10 group or program, or a governmental body or program, unless
11 the alternative retail electric supplier has entered into a
12 contractual arrangement with the governmental body and has
13 been authorized by the governmental body to make the
14 statements. If a direct mail solicitation includes a
15 written letter of agency, it shall include the Uniform
16 Disclosure Statement described in 83 Ill. Adm. Code 412.115
17 and 412.Appendix A. The Uniform Disclosure Statement shall
18 be provided on a separate page from the other marketing
19 materials included in the direct mail solicitation. If a
20 written letter of agency is being used to authorize a
21 customer's enrollment, the written letter of agency shall
22 comply with this Section. A copy of the contract must be
23 sent to the customer within 3 business days after the
24 electric utility's confirmation to the alternative retail
25 electric supplier of an accepted enrollment.
26 (7) Each alternative retail electric supplier offering

SB0651 Engrossed- 57 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 electric power and energy service to customers online shall
2 clearly and conspicuously make all disclosures for any
3 services offered through online enrollment before
4 requiring the customer to enter any personal information
5 other than zip code, electric utility service territory, or
6 type of service sought. Alternative retail electric
7 suppliers' marketing material shall not make any
8 statements that it is a representative of, endorsed by, or
9 acting on behalf of, a utility or a utility program, a
10 consumer group or a program run by a consumer group, a
11 governmental body or a program run by a governmental body,
12 unless the alternative retail electric supplier has
13 entered into a contractual arrangement with the
14 governmental body and has been authorized by the
15 governmental body to make the statements. The Uniform
16 Disclosure Statement must be printable in a portable
17 document format (PDF) and shall be available
18 electronically to the customer. The enrollment website of
19 the alternative retail electric supplier shall, at a
20 minimum, include: (i) disclosure of all material terms and
21 conditions of the offer; (ii) a statement that electronic
22 acceptance of the terms and conditions is an agreement to
23 initiate service and begin enrollment; (iii) a statement
24 that the customer should review the contract or contact the
25 current supplier to learn if any early termination fees are
26 applicable; and (iv) an e-mail address and toll-free phone

SB0651 Engrossed- 58 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 number of the alternative retail electric supplier where
2 the customer can express a decision to rescind the
3 contract.
4 (8) If an alternative retail electric supplier seeks to
5 renew a customer's contract, then at least 30 days, but no
6 more than 60 days, before the end of the current contract
7 term the alternative retail electric supplier shall
8 provide to the customer a written notice that includes a
9 side-by-side comparison of the rate the customer is being
10 charged pursuant to the current contract and the rate the
11 customer would be charged pursuant to the renewed contract.
12 An alternative retail electric supplier shall not
13 automatically renew a customer's enrollment after the
14 current term of the contract expires if the customer does
15 not expressly consent to the contract renewal in writing or
16 by electronic signature at least 30 days, but no more than
17 60 days, before the current contract term expires and (i)
18 the rate the customer would be charged pursuant to the
19 renewed contract is greater than the rate of the current
20 contract, or (ii) the current contract provides that the
21 customer will be charged a fixed rate and the renewed
22 contract provides the customer will be charged a variable
23 rate.
24 (9) All solicitations shall be conducted in,
25 translated into, and provided in a language in which the
26 customer subject to the marketing or solicitation is able

SB0651 Engrossed- 59 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 to understand and communicate. An alternative retail
2 electric supplier shall not solicit an enrollment of or
3 enroll any customer if the alternative retail electric
4 supplier is unable to communicate and provide marketing
5 materials in a language in which the customer subject to
6 the marketing or solicitation is able to understand and
7 communicate and shall comply with Section 2N of this Act.
8 (10) Customers on a month-to-month variable rate or
9 time-of-use product shall have the right to terminate their
10 contract with the alternative retail electric supplier at
11 any time without any termination fee.
12 (11) An alternative retail electric supplier shall not
13 submit a change to a customer's electric service provider
14 in violation of Section 16-115E of the Public Utilities
15 Act.
16 (c) (d) Complaints may be filed with the Illinois Commerce
17Commission under this Section by a consumer subscriber whose
18electric service has been provided by an alternative retail
19electric supplier electric service supplier in a manner not in
20compliance with this Section. If, after notice and hearing, the
21Commission finds that an alternative retail electric supplier
22electric service provider has violated this Section, the
23Commission may in its discretion do any one or more of the
24following:
25 (1) Require the violating alternative retail electric
26 supplier electric service provider to refund to the

SB0651 Engrossed- 60 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 consumer subscriber charges collected in excess of those
2 that would have been charged by the consumer's subscriber's
3 authorized electric service provider.
4 (2) Require the violating alternative retail electric
5 supplier electric service provider to pay to the consumer's
6 subscriber's authorized electric service provider supplier
7 the amount the authorized electric service provider
8 electric supplier would have collected for the electric
9 service. The Commission is authorized to reduce this
10 payment by any amount already paid by the violating
11 alternative retail electric supplier electric supplier to
12 the consumer's subscriber's authorized provider for
13 electric service.
14 (3) Require the violating alternative retail electric
15 supplier subscriber to pay a fine of up to $1,000 into the
16 Public Utility Fund for each repeated and intentional
17 violation of this Section.
18 (4) Issue a cease and desist order.
19 (5) For a pattern of violation of this Section or for
20 intentionally violating a cease and desist order, revoke
21 the violating alternative retail electric supplier's
22 provider's certificate of service authority.
23 (d) (e) For purposes of this Section:
24 "Electric , "electric service provider" shall have the
25meaning given that phrase in Section 6.5 of the Attorney
26General Act.

SB0651 Engrossed- 61 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 "Alternative retail electric supplier" has the meaning
2given to that term in Section 16-102 of the Public Utilities
3Act.
4(Source: P.A. 95-700, eff. 11-9-07.)
5 (815 ILCS 505/2DDD)
6 Sec. 2DDD. Alternative gas suppliers.
7 (a) Definitions.
8 (1) "Alternative gas supplier" has the same meaning as
9 in Section 19-105 of the Public Utilities Act.
10 (2) "Gas utility" has the same meaning as in Section
11 19-105 of the Public Utilities Act.
12 (b) It is an unfair or deceptive act or practice within the
13meaning of Section 2 of this Act for any person to violate any
14provision of this Section.
15 (c) Solicitation.
16 (1) An alternative gas supplier shall not utilize the
17 name of a public utility in any manner that is deceptive or
18 misleading, including, but not limited to, implying or
19 otherwise leading a customer to believe that an alternative
20 retail gas supplier is soliciting on behalf of or is an
21 agent of a utility. An alternative retail gas supplier
22 shall not utilize the name, or any other identifying
23 insignia, graphics, or wording, that has been used at any
24 time to represent a public utility company or its services
25 or to identify, label, or define any of its electric power

SB0651 Engrossed- 62 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 and energy service offers and shall not misrepresent the
2 affiliation of any alternative supplier with the gas
3 utility, governmental bodies, or consumer groups.
4 (2) If any sales solicitation, agreement, contract, or
5 verification is translated into another language and
6 provided to a customer, all of the documents must be
7 provided to the customer in that other language.
8 (2.3) An alternative retail gas supplier shall state
9 that it represents an independent seller of gas certified
10 by the Illinois Commerce Commission and that he or she is
11 not employed by, representing, endorsed by, or acting on
12 behalf of a utility, or a utility program.
13 (2.5) All solicitations shall be conducted in,
14 translated into, and provided in a language in which the
15 customer subject to the marketing or solicitation is able
16 to understand and communicate. An alternative retail
17 electric supplier shall not solicit an enrollment of or
18 enroll any customer if the alternative retail electric
19 supplier is unable to communicate and provide marketing
20 materials in a language in which the customer subject to
21 the marketing or solicitation is able to understand and
22 communicate and shall comply with Section 2N of this Act.
23 (3) An alternative gas supplier shall clearly and
24 conspicuously disclose the following information to all
25 customers:
26 (A) the prices, terms, and conditions of the

SB0651 Engrossed- 63 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 products and services being sold to the customer;
2 (B) where the solicitation occurs in person,
3 including through door-to-door solicitation, the
4 salesperson's name;
5 (C) the alternative gas supplier's contact
6 information, including the address, phone number, and
7 website;
8 (D) contact information for the Illinois Commerce
9 Commission, including the toll-free number for
10 consumer complaints and website;
11 (E) a statement of the customer's right to rescind
12 the offer within 10 business days of the date on the
13 utility's notice confirming the customer's decision to
14 switch suppliers, as well as phone numbers for the
15 supplier and utility that the consumer may use to
16 rescind the contract; and
17 (F) the amount of the early termination fee, if
18 any; and .
19 (G) the utility gas supply cost rates per therm
20 price to compare available from the Illinois Commerce
21 Commission website applicable at the time the
22 alternative retail gas supplier is offering or selling
23 the products or services to the customer and shall
24 disclose the following statement:
25 "(Name of the alternative retail gas supplier) is
26 not the same entity as your gas delivery company. You

SB0651 Engrossed- 64 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 are not required to enroll with (name of alternative
2 retail gas supplier). Beginning on (effective date),
3 the utility gas supply cost rate per therm is (cost).
4 The utility gas supply cost will expire on (expiration
5 date). For more information go to the Illinois Commerce
6 Commission's free website at
7 www.icc.illinois.gov/ags/consumereducation.aspx.".
8 (4) Except as provided in paragraph (5) of this
9 subsection (c), an alternative gas supplier shall send the
10 information described in paragraph (3) of this subsection
11 (c) to all customers within one business day of the
12 authorization of a switch.
13 (5) An alternative gas supplier engaging in
14 door-to-door solicitation of consumers shall provide the
15 information described in paragraph (3) of this subsection
16 (c) during all door-to-door solicitations that result in a
17 customer deciding to switch their supplier.
18 (d) Customer Authorization. An alternative gas supplier
19shall not submit or execute a change in a customer's selection
20of a natural gas provider unless and until (i) the alternative
21gas supplier first discloses all material terms and conditions
22of the offer to the customer; (ii) the alternative gas supplier
23has obtained the customer's express agreement to accept the
24offer after the disclosure of all material terms and conditions
25of the offer; and (iii) the alternative gas supplier has
26confirmed the request for a change in accordance with one of

SB0651 Engrossed- 65 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1the following procedures:
2 (1) The alternative gas supplier has obtained the
3 customer's written or electronically signed authorization
4 in a form that meets the following requirements:
5 (A) An alternative gas supplier shall obtain any
6 necessary written or electronically signed
7 authorization from a customer for a change in natural
8 gas service by using a letter of agency as specified in
9 this Section. Any letter of agency that does not
10 conform with this Section is invalid.
11 (B) The letter of agency shall be a separate
12 document (or an easily separable document containing
13 only the authorization language described in item (E)
14 of this paragraph (1)) whose sole purpose is to
15 authorize a natural gas provider change. The letter of
16 agency must be signed and dated by the customer
17 requesting the natural gas provider change.
18 (C) The letter of agency shall not be combined with
19 inducements of any kind on the same document.
20 (D) Notwithstanding items (A) and (B) of this
21 paragraph (1), the letter of agency may be combined
22 with checks that contain only the required letter of
23 agency language prescribed in item (E) of this
24 paragraph (1) and the necessary information to make the
25 check a negotiable instrument. The letter of agency
26 check shall not contain any promotional language or

SB0651 Engrossed- 66 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 material. The letter of agency check shall contain in
2 easily readable, bold face type on the face of the
3 check, a notice that the consumer is authorizing a
4 natural gas provider change by signing the check. The
5 letter of agency language also shall be placed near the
6 signature line on the back of the check.
7 (E) At a minimum, the letter of agency must be
8 printed with a print of sufficient size to be clearly
9 legible, and must contain clear and unambiguous
10 language that confirms:
11 (i) the customer's billing name and address;
12 (ii) the decision to change the natural gas
13 provider from the current provider to the
14 prospective alternative gas supplier;
15 (iii) the terms, conditions, and nature of the
16 service to be provided to the customer, including,
17 but not limited to, the rates for the service
18 contracted for by the customer; and
19 (iv) that the customer understands that any
20 natural gas provider selection the customer
21 chooses may involve a charge to the customer for
22 changing the customer's natural gas provider.
23 (F) Letters of agency shall not suggest or require
24 that a customer take some action in order to retain the
25 customer's current natural gas provider.
26 (G) If any portion of a letter of agency is

SB0651 Engrossed- 67 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 translated into another language, then all portions of
2 the letter of agency must be translated into that
3 language.
4 (2) An appropriately qualified independent third party
5 has obtained, in accordance with the procedures set forth
6 in this paragraph (2), the customer's oral authorization to
7 change natural gas providers that confirms and includes
8 appropriate verification data. The independent third party
9 must (i) not be owned, managed, controlled, or directed by
10 the alternative gas supplier or the alternative gas
11 supplier's marketing agent; (ii) not have any financial
12 incentive to confirm provider change requests for the
13 alternative gas supplier or the alternative gas supplier's
14 marketing agent; and (iii) operate in a location physically
15 separate from the alternative gas supplier or the
16 alternative gas supplier's marketing agent. Automated
17 third-party verification systems and 3-way conference
18 calls may be used for verification purposes so long as the
19 other requirements of this paragraph (2) are satisfied. A
20 alternative gas supplier or alternative gas supplier's
21 sales representative initiating a 3-way conference call or
22 a call through an automated verification system must drop
23 off the call once the 3-way connection has been
24 established. All third-party verification methods shall
25 elicit, at a minimum, the following information:
26 (A) the identity of the customer;

SB0651 Engrossed- 68 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (B) confirmation that the person on the call is
2 authorized to make the provider change;
3 (C) confirmation that the person on the call wants
4 to make the provider change;
5 (D) the names of the providers affected by the
6 change;
7 (E) the service address of the service to be
8 switched; and
9 (F) the price of the service to be provided and the
10 material terms and conditions of the service being
11 offered, including whether any early termination fees
12 apply.
13 Third-party verifiers may not market the alternative
14 gas supplier's services. All third-party verifications
15 shall be conducted in the same language that was used in
16 the underlying sales transaction and shall be recorded in
17 their entirety. Submitting alternative gas suppliers shall
18 maintain and preserve audio records of verification of
19 customer authorization for a minimum period of 2 years
20 after obtaining the verification. Automated systems must
21 provide customers with an option to speak with a live
22 person at any time during the call. Each disclosure made
23 during the third-party verification must be made
24 individually to obtain clear acknowledgment of each
25 disclosure. The alternative retail gas supplier must be in
26 a location where he or she cannot hear the customer while

SB0651 Engrossed- 69 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 the third-party verification is conducted. The alternative
2 retail gas supplier shall not contact the customer after
3 the third-party verification for a period of 24 hours
4 unless the customer initiates the contact.
5 (3) The alternative gas supplier has obtained the
6 customer's electronic authorization to change natural gas
7 service via telephone. Such authorization must elicit the
8 information in paragraph (2)(A) through (F) of this
9 subsection (d). Alternative gas suppliers electing to
10 confirm sales electronically shall establish one or more
11 toll-free telephone numbers exclusively for that purpose.
12 Calls to the number or numbers shall connect a customer to
13 a voice response unit, or similar mechanism, that makes a
14 date-stamped, time-stamped recording of the required
15 information regarding the alternative gas supplier change.
16 The alternative gas supplier shall not use such
17 electronic authorization systems to market its services.
18 (4) When a consumer initiates the call to the
19 prospective alternative gas supplier, in order to enroll
20 the consumer as a customer, the prospective alternative gas
21 supplier must, with the consent of the customer, make a
22 date-stamped, time-stamped audio recording that elicits,
23 at a minimum, the following information:
24 (A) the identity of the customer;
25 (B) confirmation that the person on the call is
26 authorized to make the provider change;

SB0651 Engrossed- 70 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (C) confirmation that the person on the call wants
2 to make the provider change;
3 (D) the names of the providers affected by the
4 change;
5 (E) the service address of the service to be
6 switched; and
7 (F) the price of the service to be supplied and the
8 material terms and conditions of the service being
9 offered, including whether any early termination fees
10 apply.
11 Submitting alternative gas suppliers shall maintain
12 and preserve the audio records containing the information
13 set forth above for a minimum period of 2 years.
14 (5) In the event that a customer enrolls for service
15 from an alternative gas supplier via an Internet website,
16 the alternative gas supplier shall obtain an
17 electronically signed letter of agency in accordance with
18 paragraph (1) of this subsection (d) and any customer
19 information shall be protected in accordance with all
20 applicable statutes and rules. In addition, an alternative
21 gas supplier shall provide the following when marketing via
22 an Internet website:
23 (A) The Internet enrollment website shall, at a
24 minimum, include:
25 (i) a copy of the alternative gas supplier's
26 customer contract, which clearly and conspicuously

SB0651 Engrossed- 71 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 discloses all terms and conditions; and
2 (ii) a conspicuous prompt for the customer to
3 print or save a copy of the contract.
4 (B) Any electronic version of the contract shall be
5 identified by version number, in order to ensure the
6 ability to verify the particular contract to which the
7 customer assents.
8 (C) Throughout the duration of the alternative gas
9 supplier's contract with a customer, the alternative
10 gas supplier shall retain and, within 3 business days
11 of the customer's request, provide to the customer an
12 e-mail, paper, or facsimile of the terms and conditions
13 of the numbered contract version to which the customer
14 assents.
15 (D) The alternative gas supplier shall provide a
16 mechanism by which both the submission and receipt of
17 the electronic letter of agency are recorded by time
18 and date.
19 (E) After the customer completes the electronic
20 letter of agency, the alternative gas supplier shall
21 disclose conspicuously through its website that the
22 customer has been enrolled and the alternative gas
23 supplier shall provide the customer an enrollment
24 confirmation number.
25 (6) When a customer is solicited in person by the
26 alternative gas supplier's sales agent, the alternative

SB0651 Engrossed- 72 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 gas supplier may only obtain the customer's authorization
2 to change natural gas service through the method provided
3 for in paragraph (2) of this subsection (d).
4 Alternative gas suppliers must be in compliance with the
5provisions of this subsection (d) within 90 days after the
6effective date of this amendatory Act of the 95th General
7Assembly.
8 (e) Early Termination.
9 (1) Any agreement that contains an early termination
10 clause shall disclose the amount of the early termination
11 fee, provided that any early termination fee or penalty
12 shall not exceed $50 total, regardless of whether or not
13 the agreement is a multiyear agreement. Customers on a
14 month-to-month variable rate or time-of-use product shall
15 have the right to terminate their contract with the
16 alternative retail gas supplier at any time without any
17 termination fee.
18 (2) In any agreement that contains an early termination
19 clause, an alternative gas supplier shall provide the
20 customer the opportunity to terminate the agreement
21 without any termination fee or penalty within 10 business
22 days after the date of the first bill issued to the
23 customer for products or services provided by the
24 alternative gas supplier. The agreement shall disclose the
25 opportunity and provide a toll-free phone number that the
26 customer may call in order to terminate the agreement.

SB0651 Engrossed- 73 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 (f) The alternative gas supplier shall provide each
2customer the opportunity to rescind its agreement without
3penalty within 10 business days after the date on the gas
4utility notice to the customer. The alternative gas supplier
5shall disclose to the customer all of the following:
6 (1) that the gas utility shall send a notice confirming
7 the switch;
8 (2) that from the date the utility issues the notice
9 confirming the switch, the customer shall have 10 business
10 days before the switch will become effective;
11 (3) that the customer may contact the gas utility or
12 the alternative gas supplier to rescind the switch within
13 10 business days; and
14 (4) the contact information for the gas utility and the
15 alternative gas supplier.
16 The alternative gas supplier disclosure shall be included
17in its sales solicitations, contracts, and all applicable sales
18verification scripts.
19 (f-5) An alternative retail gas supplier must also comply
20with the following requirements of this subsection (f-5). It is
21a violation of this Section for an alternative retail electric
22supplier to fail to comply with this subsection (f-5).
23 (1) If an alternative retail gas supplier seeks to
24 renew a customer's contract, then at least 30 days, but no
25 more than 60 days, before the end of the current contract
26 term the alternative retail gas supplier shall provide to

SB0651 Engrossed- 74 -LRB101 04244 JRG 49252 b
1 the customer a written notice that includes a side-by-side
2 comparison of the rate the customer is being charged
3 pursuant to the current contract and the rate the customer
4 would be charged pursuant to the renewed contract. An
5 alternative retail gas supplier shall not automatically
6 renew a customer's enrollment after the current term of the
7 contract expires if the customer does not expressly consent
8 to the contract renewal in writing or by electronic
9 signature at least 30 days, but no more than 60 days,
10 before the current contract term expires and (i) the rate
11 the customer would be charged pursuant to the renewed
12 contract is greater than the rate of the current contract,
13 or (ii) the current contract provides that the customer
14 will be charged a fixed rate and the renewed contract
15 provides the customer will be charged a variable rate.
16 (2) An alternative retail electric gas shall not submit
17 a change to a customer's gas service provider in violation
18 of Section 19-116 of the Public Utilities Act.
19 (g) The provisions of this Section shall apply only to
20alternative gas suppliers serving or seeking to serve
21residential and small commercial customers and only to the
22extent such alternative gas suppliers provide services to
23residential and small commercial customers.
24(Source: P.A. 97-333, eff. 8-12-11.)
feedback