Attorney General Reaches Settlement With Con Ed Solutions

Attorney General Spitzer today announced a settlement with Con Edison Solutions, an unregulated electricity supplier formed by Con Edison. The settlement changes the way the company communicates with its 29,000 customers to clarify contract renewal terms. Con Ed Solutions, formed as part of the recent restructuring of New York electric utility companies, supplies electricity on a contract basis to residential and non-residential customers in New York City, Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties, and on Long Island.

Con Edison Solutions enters into contracts with its customers at a fixed price per kilowatt hour for electricity, plus any applicable service fee. Each of the company's residential contracts expired with the May 2000 meter reading. Prior to the expiration the company sent a letter to its customers automatically renewing their contracts for one year, with new terms, unless the customer contacted Con Edison Solutions. The letter contained language that led some customers to believe that their new contracts were already in force and did not clearly state that customers who did not want to renew their contracts could still contact Con Ed Solutions.

After receiving consumer complaints, the Attorney General's office opened an investigation and determined that the letter did not clearly state to customers the terms of the contract renewal. As part of the settlement with the Attorney General's office, Con Ed Solutions sent out a second letter clearly spelling out the terms of its automatic renewal policy, and has extended the date by which customers can contact Con Ed Solutions to cancel their contracts.

"New Yorkers now have an opportunity to choose their electric providers. But with that choice can come confusion," Spitzer said. "My office will closely monitor unregulated electricity suppliers to ensure that consumers get the clearest information about their options and that they fully understand the terms and conditions of any contracts they sign."

The case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Jill Ellen Sandford and Charlie Donaldson of the Telecommunications and Energy Bureau, under the supervision of Mary Ellen Burns, Bureau Chief.

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