Maryland suspends another company over door-to-door gas & electric sales

BGE to relocate gas meters from inside garages
Posted at 4:55 PM, Apr 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-10 09:07:59-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Complaints are on the rise of energy companies knocking door-to-door, convincing residents to sign up for gas and electric services.

One company accused of the practice is New Jersey based SunSea Energy, LLC.

Come 5pm Monday, the Maryland Public Service Commission is requiring the company to return all its customers to utility default service.

"The Commission determined that SunSea Energy has violated state laws and regulations and that the suspension is necessary to protect Maryland consumers." the Commission said in a press release.

SunSea's CEO reportedly testified that the company outsources solicitation efforts to agents employed by third parties.

Customers frequently complained of being signed up without permission or proper contracts. From July 2022 to January 2023 the commission says it received 41 complaints.

In the meantime the commission ordered SunSea to increase their surety bonds to $500,000 for both gas and electric within 10 business days.

This isn't the first time SunSea has been reprimanded.

Back in April 2021 the commission temporarily banned them from soliciting and enrolling new customers. Then four months later, SunSea was fined $400,000 for allegedly misleading and deceptive telephone marketing practices.

Energy suppliers found in violation of state laws and regulations could face prosecution, fines, and/or license revocation, according to the Commission.

Last month, they took action against SFE Energy Maryland, Inc. over similar allegations.

"This effort is considered 'all hands on deck’ to marshal more internal resources to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute retail energy suppliers who are failing to abide by the state’s laws and regulations," the commission said. "It will also involve using these resources and expedited procedures to, if necessary, invoke civil penalties and/or revoke supplier licenses."

For the latest on this case, click here.