Advertisement

Public Service Commission fines power company $350,000

False promises, sudden price increases and switching people to their service without even informing them are just three of the violations the Maryland Public Service Commission cited against Starion Energy today, levying a $350,000 fine. Delaware-based Starion has resold electric power in Maryland since 2011. But hundreds of people complained about the company's solicitation practices—either door-to-door or over the phone. There were so many complaints that the PSC elected not to take testimony from everyone, prompting Starion's lawyers to call the complaints "hearsay." But the PSC would have none of that:

Citing recent improvements in Starion's customer service practices, the PSC stopped short of barring the company from operating in the state. Maryland

Advertisement

, and since 2007 has seen a flood of companies re-selling electricity alongside the traditional utilities. Most claim they can offer lower prices, though they don't always deliver. And the PSC does not regulate the prices they can charge. The PSC has fined several other companies in recent years but, the commission concludes, "Starion's pattern of disregard for State law and regulations far exceeds any prior case before this Commission."

Advertisement
Advertisement