Legislation sponsored by Senator Linda R. Greenstein, which will protect New Jersey consumers from fraudulent claims made by electric power and gas suppliers, has been signed into law.
“Residents in my district and throughout the state are being harassed by unsolicited phone calls, sometimes multiple times in a day, urging them to switch energy or gas companies,” said Senator Greenstein, D-Middlesex and Mercer. “These calls at home are disruptive to New Jerseyans and can be a relentless invasion of privacy. Residents should have a course of action to put a stop to these interruptions.”
The law, S-2308, requires the Board of Public Utilities in consultation with the Department of Consumer Affairs to adopt advertising and marketing standards for electric power and gas suppliers who purposely make false or misleading advertising claims to a potential residential customer or who – via the telephone – initiate contact with a potential residential customer who is on the state or federal “do not call list.”
Under the law, an electric power supplier, gas supplier, broker, energy agent, marketer, private aggregator, sales representative or telemarketer that violates one of these prohibitions and then collects charges from a customer will be liable to the customer in the amount equal to all changes paid by the customer. Additionally, they will be liable for a civil penalty up to $10,000 for the first offense and $25,000 for each additional offense for each day the violation continues.
The law will take effect immediately.