Slamming and cramming are two terms regarding utilities that some may have heard of, but don’t quite understand. Slamming is switching a customer’s utility provider without their knowledge or consent. Cramming is when a utility carrier charges a customer for an unauthorized product or service. Slamming and cramming are rare, but unfortunately do happen. Cramming tends to be more common with telecom services such as landlines and cell phones, but slamming can happen to any utility.
The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) closely monitors utility services to ensure no slamming or cramming happens. There are very severe repercussions for any suppliers that slam or cram, up to and including criminal investigations. Utility suppliers also regularly audit customer files to be sure no slamming or cramming has taken place.
Slamming and Aggregation
Occasionally, energy consumers believe they were slammed, but were actually unaware that their local government had aggregated. There are several ways this could happen. Consumers may think the aggregation notices sent by mail were “junk mail” and tossed them aside. They may not have realized what was on the ballot when they voted for aggregation. They also may not have paid much attention to their bills until one day realizing their supplier changed. Due to these slight oversights, consumers may get the impression their energy company changed illegally. However, opt-out aggregation legal and monitored by PUCO. It also requires the participation of the local citizens to be enacted.
Government aggregation is an easy and effective way for a large group of consumers to receive discounted generation pricing on their energy bills. Most local governments choose opt-out aggregation programs, so the average resident doesn’t need to fill out and return paperwork to participate. Opt-out aggregations are approved by residents via a proposal on a ballot, and if passed, members of the community will be automatically enrolled in the aggregation program.
If a resident is on a percentage of income payment plan or is already under contract with an energy supplier, they are removed from the eligible customer list generated by PUCO. Otherwise, everyone in the community is switched to the aggregation supplier. If a member of the community doesn’t wish to participate, they must return the opt-out notice sent to residents before the aggregation program begins.
Trebel places customer satisfaction beyond all else. Every aspect of Trebel’s approach to aggregation is focused on our customers. We ensure that the communities we serve are protected. With over 100 aggregation programs in place, Trebel has a proven record of customer satisfaction dedicated to protecting people, communities, and renewable energy. To learn more about governmental aggregation, visit our site today.