Description: Action by Commonwealth of Massachusetts alleging that a retail electricity supplier did not provide the minimum amount of renewable and clean energy required by state law or make alternative compliance payments.
Commonwealth v. Utility Expense Reduction
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 06/30/2022 Complaint Download Complaint filed. 06/30/2022 Judgment Download Final judgment by consent filed. Electricity Supplier Paid $1.65 Million to Resolve Alleged Violations of Massachusetts Renewable Energy Obligations. A retail electricity supplier that sold electricity to Massachusetts customers paid more than $1.65 million to resolve an action brought by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts alleging that the company did not provide the minimum amount of renewable and clean energy required by state law or make alternative compliance payments to Massachusetts programs designed to reduce fossil fuels’ environmental impacts. The Commonwealth alleged that in 2018 and 2019 the company knowingly failed to comply with these requirements to provide renewable and clean energy despite marketing itself as a supplier of “green” and “renewable” energy. Massachusetts alleged that the company then left the Massachusetts electricity market in 2019 without paying amounts owed to the Commonwealth, allowing the company to gain “a financial windfall” and resulting in Massachusetts environmental programs losing “hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.” The complaint asserted claims of violation of the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, the Alternative Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard, the Massachusetts Clean Air Act, the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act, and the Massachusetts False Claims Act. The Commonwealth also asserted a claim of unjust enrichment. Approximately $825,000 of the settlement amount constituted restitution that was designated for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center to fund clean energy programs and for the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to use for initiatives to mitigate climate change. In addition to the settlement payment, the defendant was enjoined from engaging in business in Massachusetts for five years.