Summitt Energy takes action to assist consumers

TORONTO, June 25 /CNW/ - Upon receipt of the Notice from the OEB, Summitt Energy has taken immediate action to investigate the allegations made against it relating to the sales activities of five of its agents and to put into place a number of new procedures to help consumers.

"Summitt Energy remains committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure our customers receive proper information relating to our products and customers understand both the value of our products and terms of the agreement to best determine if our products are suitable for their needs," said Gerry Haggarty, President and CEO, Summitt Energy. "We believe building a satisfied customer base can only be achieved by meeting and exceeding the requirements of the regulations of the OEB and the Code of Conduct governing our sales practises."

Haggarty continued, "We take these allegations very seriously and we have immediately implemented additional procedures to help inform consumers including verification calls, plain language disclosure forms and copies of agreements. These new processes exceed the current requirements of the OEB."

Summitt Energy has immediately taken the following actions:

    
    -   Implemented a series of measures which included the suspension of all
        five sales agents noted in the OEB notice.

    -   Met with OEB compliance staff earlier this week and received the
        disclosure documents from the OEB concerning the various cases.

    -   In an effort to evaluate the allegations made, commenced a detailed
        review of each incident cited in the OEB Notice. The review is
        ongoing.

    -   Made procedural changes to ensure Summitt Energy continues to be in
        compliance with and in many cases exceed the requirements of the OEB.
        These changes include the following measures to ensure high quality
        of service for consumers:

    1.  Verification call - a verification call to new residential customers
        is already being implemented and will occur at the time of any sale
        and while the sales agent is at the door. All customers will be
        required to confirm the sales agent identified himself or herself as
        an agent of Summitt Energy and met the other requirements under the
        Code of Conduct including providing the customer with a copy of the
        contract and the Terms and Conditions. This verification call is
        intended to supplement the other compliance steps that Summitt Energy
        is required to adhere to. Customers will have the ability to decline
        the contract.

    2.  Plain language disclosure form - In addition, while the sales agent
        is at the door of a residential customer, each customer will be
        required to sign a "plain language" disclosure form. This form is
        intended to have each consumer acknowledge and confirm the sales
        agent properly identified himself or herself on behalf of Summitt
        Energy; the agreement is for a fixed price energy supply contract for
        up to five years for natural gas/electricity; and the customer
        received a copy of the agreement and the terms and conditions.

    3.  Copy of Agreement - Each new residential customer will be sent a copy
        of the agreement entered into for the supply of natural gas and/or
        electricity, by email or regular mail after any sale has been
        completed to ensure each customer receives a copy of their agreement
        (even if they have confirmed they received a copy at the time of the
        sale).
    

Background:

On June 17, 2010, Summitt Energy received a Notice of the Intention to make an Order for Compliance and an Administrative Penalty from the Ontario Energy Board ("OEB"). The allegations made in the OEB Notice involve the sales practices of five sales agents over an 18 month period and specifically concerning 28 specific cases.

Summitt Energy is one of the largest energy retail companies in Ontario, representing over 100,000 customers across the province. Established in 2006 and headquartered in Mississauga, Summitt Energy offers residential and business customers a variety of natural gas and electricity price protection programs. In 2008, Summitt Energy launched the Summitt EverGreen Program, designed to offset greenhouse gas emissions from homes in Canada.

SOURCE Summitt Energy

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Victoria Ollers, 416-822-2288, vo@goldfenixcom.ca or Paul Tyler, pt@goldfenixcom.ca, 905-235-7285

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