IDT Energy, Inc. operates as a retail energy provider. The company supplies electricity and natural gas to residents, and small and medium enterprises in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois, and Washington, D.C. It also provides home services, rewards, and green electricity supply. The company was founded in 2004 and is based in Newark, New Jersey. IDT Energy, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Genie Energy Ltd.
550 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102
Founded in 2004
Pennsylvania Officials Reach Settlement with IDT Energy Inc. over Variable Rate Plans
Aug 12 15
Pennsylvania's offices of attorney general and consumer advocate reached a proposed settlement with third-party electric generation supplier IDT Energy Inc. over allegations of deceptive marketing related to polar vortex events in early 2014. Under the settlement, IDT Energy agreed to pay $2.4 million in refunds to eligible consumers in addition to $4.1 million that the company has already paid. The company must also pay a civil penalty of $25,000 and make a contribution of $75,000 to the hardship funds of the state's electric distribution companies. In 2014, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Acting Consumer Advocate Tanya McCloskey jointly filed five legal actions against electric generation suppliers after receiving thousands of complaints from consumers who had signed up for variable rate plans. In some cases, consumers said their costs unexpectedly increased as much as 300%. The spike in rates was due in large part to extreme cold weather driving up wholesale power prices in the Mid-Atlantic region. Under the terms of the proposed settlement with IDT Energy, consumers who were on variable rate plans in January, February or March 2014 will be contacted directly by a third-party settlement administrator if they qualify for a refund. The refunds will be based on consumers' usage and the price they were charged during that time period. The settlement also imposes a 21-month moratorium on the selling of variable rates by IDT Energy. The company must offer fixed-rate products for terms longer than six months during this time period. If IDT Energy decides to begin offering variable rate contracts after the expiration of the moratorium, the company will be required to disclose to consumers "in plain language" that prices may fluctuate monthly and that there is no limit to how high the price may go. The proposed settlement with IDT Energy is subject to review by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's Office of Administrative Law Judge. The administrative law judges will then send their recommendations to the commission for final review. The PUC could accept the settlement, reject it, accept part of it or amend it. If the PUC modifies the settlement, any party to the settlement could withdraw from it and proceed with litigation, in which case the entire settlement would be void. The terms of the settlement, including the moratorium on selling variable plans to customers, will only take effect if the proposal is approved by the commission. The settlement with IDT Energy follows two proposed settlements announced earlier this year with Hiko Energy LLC and Energy Services Providers Inc., which does business as Pennsylvania Gas and Electric, or PaG&E. The settlements proposed with Hiko and PaG&E are still pending review by the PUC. The proposed settlement with IDT Energy is comparable to the one reached with PaG&E, Office of Attorney General spokesman Jeffrey Johnson said. Under the PaG&E settlement, the supplier will not sell variable rate products in the state "for a period of eighteen months from March 1, 2015". In its proposed settlement, Hiko agreed that it would not accept any new Pennsylvania customers through June 30, 2016. Hiko also came under investigation in New York. According to the New York attorney general's Consumer Protection Bureau, Hiko's electric and natural gas customers were "falsely promised" lower rates by the company and then forced to pay much higher bills. New York's attorney general planned to distribute more than $1 million in restitution payments to customers of Hiko following a settlement over the company's alleged deceptive business practices.