Energy & Utilities Consumer Protection

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
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FCC: No Additional TCPA Consent Required for Certain Calls to Utilities Customers

This month, the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC” or “Commission”) issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying what type of Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) consent is required for certain telephone calls and...more

FHA Issues Final Guidelines on PACE Assessments

The U.S. Federal Housing Administration (FHA) issued final guidance in the form of Mortgagee Letter 2016-11 regarding the subordination of Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) assessments on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. As...more

FCC Holds Educators and Utilities Making Certain Robo Calls Do Not Violate The TCPA

On August 4, 2016, the FCC released a Declaratory Ruling confirming that schools and utilities making robo calls do not violate the TCPA under certain circumstances. The Ruling, addressed Petitions filed by Blackboard, Inc....more

FCC Outlines Exemptions from the TCPA for Schools and Utilities

On Thursday, Aug. 4, the FCC granted organizations representing schools and utilities significant relief from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act—a law that subjects callers to substantial penalties if they...more

The FCC Clarifies Prior Express Consent Under the TCPA for Calls to Utility Company Customers

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”) applies in many circumstances when companies use an automatic telephone dialing system (or “autodialer”) and/or pre-recorded messages to call consumers. In those situations where...more

FCC Exempts Schools and Utilities from TCPA for Emergencies

On August 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a ruling applicable to schools and utilities regarding the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to robocalls and text messages to...more

FCC Ruling Clarifies TCPA for Schools and Utilities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Declaratory Ruling clarifying the application of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to communications from schools and utilities. Specifically, the Ruling...more

Power Play: Energy Utilities Score Big as FCC Approves Use of Robocalls and Texts Under the TCPA; Schools Get an Assist

Late last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a long-anticipated declaratory order, ruling that utility companies may make robocalls and send automated texts to their customers concerning matters closely...more

FCC OKs Certain Informational Calling and Texts by Schools and Utilities to Wireless Phones under TCPA

The FCC recently released a Declaratory Ruling with new clarifications for schools and utilities on autodialed calls and texts and pre-recorded/artificial voice calling under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") for...more

Bellerman v. Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light Co. – Lack of Injury in Massachusetts Consumer Claims

In 2014, we posted about the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Bellermann v. Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light Co. In that case, plaintiffs sought relief under the Massachusetts consumer protection statute,...more

ValueAct Settlement Marks Record Penalty in Heightened Agency Efforts Against HSR Act Violations

Where is the line drawn between acquisitions of securities made “solely for the purpose of investment” on one hand, and influencing control, thereby requiring regulatory approval, on the other hand? That is the central...more

FTC Civil Penalties on the Rise—Inflation Adjustments Increase Civil Penalty Amounts

For the first time since 2009, the potential civil penalties for violating an administrative consent order under Section 5(b) of the FTC Act is going up. The maximum civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) can now...more

FTC Workshop Examines Competition and Consumer Protection Issues in Rooftop Solar Industry

On June 21, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) held a workshop to examine competition and consumer protection issues in the rooftop solar industry—also known as solar “distributed generation.” Beyond exploring a wide...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2016

Environmental and Policy Focus - Judge invalidates long-fought Delta management plan Sacramento Bee - Jun 24 - In a decision that could delay or complicate Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two huge...more

Will network charges encourage the installation of residential batteries?

It remains to be seen what impact batteries will have on the operation of Australia’s electricity networks. They may become an integral part of those networks, could be used as a substitute for those networks and may...more

A Big Win for Internet Consumers

On June 14, 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its ruling in United States Telecom Association, et al v. Federal Communications Commission and United States of America. The...more

Implications of Brexit for the mining and minerals sectors

The debate surrounding Britain’s proposed exit from the EU (Brexit) has primarily focused upon its potential impact on the British economy, Britain’s international standing and its capacity for self-governance. This article...more

Hot topics for state attorneys general

The role of state attorneys general (AGs) as an investigative and enforcement powerhouse for consumer protection and antitrust matters presents challenges and opportunities for corporate entities in all industries. By...more

Attention Home Improvement Contractors: CA Bill Singles Out Solar Contractors

California Assembly Bill 2699 (Gonzalez) is a bill to watch if you are a home improvement contractor that solarinstalls solar energy systems or, for that matter, a contractor in California. AB 2699 would, among other things,...more

Cal PUC Issues New Rules for TNCs

At the voting meeting on April 21, the California Public Utilities Commission approved new regulations impacting the operations of Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Lyft and Uber, within California. The “Phase...more

Volkswagen proposes a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice. Judge Breyer sets a June 21 deadline for a...

Tris Coffin heads the Vermont Volkswagen Class Action litigation team at DRM that also includes Directors Bob Luce and Marc Heath. On the evening of April 20, a number of news outlets published stories that Volkswagen...more

Financial Services Weekly News - March 2016 #5

Regulatory Developments - SEC Issues FAST Act IM Guidance - The SEC published an IM Guidance Update highlighting two exemptions from registration under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 (the Advisers Act) that...more

Minnesota Weekly Legislative Update: 03/25/2016

The Minnesota Legislature had a short week, with no official business on Friday due to their Easter recess. The legislature will return on Tuesday, March 29, at noon. This week, committees continued to hear budget details...more

New York Public Service Commission Issues New Consumer Protection Guidelines for Energy Service Companies

On February 23, 2016, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order setting new consumer protection guidelines for energy service companies, or “ESCOs.” An ESCO is a business supplying electricity and/or...more

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