Those pesky energy sales people will be allowed to resume pitching customers at outdoor public events in Pennsylvania, but door-to-door sales are still prohibited because of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission on Thursday voted 3-1 to allow competitive energy suppliers to resume sales at outdoor events, as long as the activities comply with health and safety orders. The PUC halted direct sales by the firms, which provide an alternative to utilities like Peco, after Gov. Tom Wolf declared an emergency in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
NRG Energy, which is based in Philadelphia, had asked the PUC to relax the restrictions. The company relies upon direct in-person sales efforts to acquire new customers.
One member of the PUC said NRG’s request was reasonable when it was filed in October, but he voted no because COVID-19 cases have resurged.
”With our health experts telling us that community spread is rampant, there is no logical reason to relax our moratorium on in-person sales, even at outdoor events, even with diligent attention to the requirements of social distancing and mask-wearing,” said David W. Sweet, the PUC vice chair. “This is simply not the time.”
Thursday’s action was the second time the PUC has rolled back restrictions on sales practices of the third-party suppliers. In June, the PUC allowed the energy marketers to resume in-person sales at retail locations.