AARP Illinois Statement on ICC Allowing Alternative Energy Suppliers to Resume Door-to-Door Sales

Posted on 10/20/20

Counseling or Sales Pitch

From State Director Bob Gallo:

“AARP Illinois was disappointed to learn that state utility regulators are once again allowing energy suppliers to go door-to-door to peddle alternatives to traditional utility providers.  AARP Illinois believes this marketing tactic is suspect during normal times -- there is absolutely no place for this approach during a pandemic. 

We agree with Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who said, ‘This is not the time to threaten health through direct transmission or to allow potentially predatory in-person marketing for energy products almost certain to cost consumers more than the regulated utility.’

Older adults have been the hardest hit by illness caused by COVID-19.The pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on African American and Hispanic/Latino residents who are getting sick and dying from the disease.

At the same time, research has shown that alternative suppliers focus their efforts on the elderly and in African American and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods.

Reopening this door of salesmanship creates a double whammy on already vulnerable and preyed upon members of these communities.

AARP Illinois has consistently opposed this type of strong-armed marketing, as it has been proven that alternative energy suppliers do not act in the best interest of ratepayers and more often than not end up costing consumers more than if they would have just stayed with buying directly from the utility. 

Governor Pritzker has shown leadership by enacting safeguards that protect Illinois residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is imperative that he now acts on this issue and uses his powers to end this dangerous practice. 

AARP Illinois also urges the Illinois Commerce Commission to immediately reverse their position on this issue and again disallow alternative energy suppliers from putting the general population in harm’s way during these uncertain times."

This story is provided by AARP Illinois. Visit the AARP Illinois page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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