Energy & Utilities Consumer Protection

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Energy & Utilities issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court Rejects FERC’s Preemption Argument and Permits State Antitrust Claims Against Interstate Pipelines to Proceed

On April 21, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an opinion in ONEOK, Inc., et al., v. Learjet, Inc. et al holding that state antitrust claims are not pre-empted by the Natural Gas Act. This important decision put the brakes on an...more

Supreme Court Opens Door to Increased Role for State Courts and State Regulators in the Energy Sector

The Supreme Court today allowed the states a greater role in regulating the energy sector. In ONEOK, the Court held that states can regulate activities that affect both wholesale and retail transactions to the extent that the...more

California DOJ Surprises More Than 100 Retailers with Transparency in Supply Chains Act Notification

This week, the California Attorney General’s Department of Justice sent letters to a large number of retailers, notifying those retailers that they may be subject to California's Transparency in Supply Chains Act (the “Act”...more

Cyber Vulnerability in Wind Turbines

It has been reported that a wind turbine which is deployed across the energy sector worldwide has been hacked. Due to a software bug, an attacker can get the user name and password from the browser. This can allow admin...more

Not Saved By The Bell: Dismissing Classes Prediscovery

Two billion dollars. That is what the top legal counsel at nearly 350 companies spent on the defense of class actions in 2014. In addition to the cost of outside counsel, on average, companies dedicate six in-house...more

Power Surge: TCPA Litigation and the Energy Industry

Few industries have been spared from the recent wave of class actions filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The energy sector is no exception. ...more

Ofgem's Smart Meter Network Decision: UK gas and electricity consumer privacy gets broader protection

In February 2015, Ofgem (the UK’s Office of Gas and Electricity Markets) published its Decision on Extending the Smart Meter Framework to Remote Meters (the Decision). This confirms that, following a public consultation, the...more

Also In the News - Data, Privacy, & Security Practice Report - February 2015 #4

Going With The (Work) Flow After A Data Breach—Corporate Counsel reported on the recent King & Spalding webinar, “Data Breach: What Workflows to Expect and How to Prepare,” offering concerned in-house counsel and the...more

Regulatory Implications of New Products and Services in the Australian Electricity Market

The Energy Market Reform Working Group (Working Group) in Australia released a consultation paper at the end of 2014 regarding the regulatory implications of new products and services in the national electricity market. New...more

Privacy Issues in Smart Electrical Grids: Another Internet of Things Problem

Smart grids – electrical grids that allow two-way communication between utilities and consumers – represent an exciting frontier in the Internet of Things, with ramifications for energy efficiency, weather resiliency and...more

President Presses For Action On Cybersecurity Legislation In State Of The Union

On January 20, 2015, President Obama delivered his sixth State of the Union address, during which he pressed for Congress to take action to combat cybersecurity threats. He called on Congress to “finally pass the legislation...more

NRC Report Reviews DPR’s Pesticide Risk Assessment Process

An ad hoc committee of the National Research Council (NRC) released a report, Review of California's Risk-Assessment Process for Pesticides, following its scientific and technical evaluation of the California Environmental...more

President Obama’s 2015 Priorities Include Cybersecurity

During his recent State of the Union address, President Obama called on Congress “to finally pass the legislation we need to better meet the evolving threat of cyber attacks, combat identity theft, and protect our children’s...more

FERC Orders New York ISO To Refund Over-Charges Resulting From Hurricane Sandy

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has ordered the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. to reopen and resettle billings for electricity it supplied during the November/December 2012 billing periods, and to refund...more

Class Actions Can Strain Retail Electric Providers

In August 2014, a putative class action suit was brought against Ambit Energy Holdings LLC, Ambit Texas, LLC, Ambit Northeast LLC, and Ambit New York, LLC (collectively, “Ambit”) in New Jersey federal district court. Class...more

New Federal Chemical-Disclosure Regulations? Public-Comment Period Has Ended

In our July/August newsletter, we wrote that in May 2014, the Obama administration began to accept comments regarding potential federal hydraulic-fracturing regulations. The EPA, through an advance notice of proposed...more

Pennsylvania Extends Life and Applicability of Chapter 14 of the Public Utility Code

On October 22, 2014, Governor Corbett signed Act 155 into law. The Act will go into effect 60 days from the date the governor signed it or approximately December 21, 2014. Among other things, this Act revises Section 510 and...more

Setting fees for use of federal dams

Federally owned dams and other structures can create opportunities for private development of hydropower facilities, in exchange for a fee. While fees charged to hydropower developers for using federally owned dams will...more

Post Election Update 2014

The 2014 Midterm Elections have taken place and Republicans performed extremely well in all categories – winning key gubernatorial and congressional races – in what many are viewing as a "wave election." In the...more

From Second and State: Capitol Wrap – Week of October 2014

As expected, this week blew through the Columbus Day holiday and into a flurry of legislative activity. Dozens of bills went back and forth between the chambers this week, and many have already landed on the governor’s desk....more

UK Electricity Market Reform

On 16 October 2014, the first CfD allocation round commences, with the first CfDs being signed as early as January 2015, subject to any mid-allocation round appeals. The attached “Contracts for Difference – On the Launchpad”,...more

Bridging the Week - October 2014

NJ-Based Trader Previously Sanctioned by UK FCA, CFTC and CME Indicted in Chicago for Same Spoofing Offenses - New Jersey resident Michael Coscia, the prior manager and sole owner of Panther Energy Trading LLC, was...more

Petitioners Urge FTC to Investigate Utility’s Environmental Marketing Claims

This week, environmental activists in the state of Vermont filed a petition with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleging that an electric utility made improper environmental marketing claims regarding its...more

Wrap-Up of Federal and State Chemical Regulatory Developments, May 2014

B&C® Creates TSCA Reform Online Hub: Bergeson & Campbell, P.C. (B&C®) has created an online hub for news, information, and commentary on Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) reform that is available at www.TSCAreform.org....more

Dutch energy company is fined for violating the Dutch telemarketing rules

Last week, the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (“ACM”) imposed a fine on energy company Essent for violating the Dutch telemarketing rules. In short, Essent had called several consumers with respect to a commercial...more

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