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Direct Energy Marketing Limited Amendments to Code of Conduct Regulation Compliance Plan and Inter-Affiliate Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan, AUC Decision 26370-D01-2021

Link to Decision Summarized

CCR Compliance Plan

In this decision, the AUC approved the application from Direct Energy Marketing Limited to amend the Direct Energy Regulated Services (“DERS”), Direct Energy Partnership (“DEP”) and XOOM Energy Canada, ULC (“XOOM”) Code of Conduct Regulation (“CCR”) Compliance Plan (the “CCR Compliance Plan”). The AUC also approved the DERS Inter-Affiliate Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan.

Background and Procedural Summary

On November 12, 2020, the CCR was amended necessitating changes to the CCR Compliance Plan. Direct Energy Marketing Limited filed an update to its amended compliance plans.

Amendments

Direct Energy Marketing Limited sought approval of changes to the CCR Compliance Plan to reflect the amendments to the CCR; to add XOOM Energy Canada, ULC as an affiliated provider; to incorporate other administrative changes to simplify the language of the CCR Compliance Plan and to update the information it provides. It also applied for approval of changes to the Inter-Affiliate Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan to reflect the change in ownership of Direct Energy from Centrica plc to NRG Energy Inc.

Direct Energy Marketing Limited proposed the following amendments to the CCR Compliance Plan:

(a)     Updates to mechanisms under Section 3.0 – Conduct, and Section 17.0 – Arrangements Creating Unfair Competitive Advantage Prohibited to align with the records retention period recommended by the AUC;

(a)     Amending the policy under Section 40.0 – Audit to align with the AUC’s requirement for the retention of compliance records listed under Appendix A to the CCR Compliance Plan for at least three years; and

(b)     Addition of Appendix A to the CCR Compliance Plan outlining the specific records to be retained.

Direct Energy Marketing Limited also proposed amendments to mechanisms under Section 34 of the CCR Compliance Plan – Information About Complaints, to delete the requirement to provide information describing how to report an alleged contravention of the CCR on an annual bill to DERS, DEP, and XOOM customers and to instead require that information be provided year-round on each of DERS, DEP, and XOOM’s external websites. It was submitted that this proposed change should reduce the number of misdirected customer-care calls to the AUC that are unrelated to the CCR.

In its proposed amended Inter-Affiliate Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan, DERS amended its organizational chart to include XOOM along with the NRG-owned retail entities that operate in various states in the United States. DERS explained that this amendment was proposed in the event a future relationship developed between DERS and one of these entities. Additional edits included language adding XOOM to the reference to the CCR Compliance Plan, updating the referenced email for questions or comments, and non-substantive grammatical edits.

The AUC approved the amended CCR Compliance Plan as submitted by Direct Energy Marketing Limited. The AUC was satisfied that the proposed substantive amendments to the Inter-Affiliate Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan appropriately reflect the change in ownership. The AUC further accepts the other non-substantive amendments proposed. The DERS Inter-Affiliate Code of Conduct and Compliance Plan was approved.

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