A Texas-based energy company said Thursday that it had pulled its sales agents out of Quincy, following citizen complaints to the Mayor's office.
City officials told WGEM News on Wednesday that they had received a number of complaints about questionable sales practices by the Energy Company of America, also known as ENCOA.
In a statement released Thursday, Victor Howard, ENCOA's VP of Marketing and Customer Service, said the company had launched an internal review of its contractor that provides the sales agents.
Howard said ENCOA is working with the city to clear up confusion over Quincy's new energy aggregation project and the work of independent sales teams.
The city of Quincy says it has received numerous reports of people being pushed into signing contracts from multiple companies as the city begins its electrical aggregation project.
Salesmen have reportedly told residents they had to sign up to receive the savings with the aggregation program.
Reg Ankrom, Senior Advisor with the city's aggregation consultant company, SIMEC, said they don't go door-to-door and there is no requirement to sign up.
"There are other companies that do offer other energy products and we have no concern about that, that's what competition is about," Ankrom said. "But when people are representing themselves in a program that's already been established and saying that people must sign up for aggregation, that's just incorrect."
If you have signed a contract with a new company, but still want to take part in the city of Quincy's aggregation, you'll need to call the company and cancel that contract. ENCOA is allowing Quincy residents to cancel their contracts with no charge.
Officials say Quincy residents will be getting a letter in the mail within the next month detailing the steps if you want to opt out of the aggregation program.
ENCOA's full news release:
ENCOA ADDRESSES QUINCY AGGREGATION CONCERNS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 10, 2013, Houston, TX: In a recent news report, ENCOA (Energy Company of America) was cited as an alternative energy provider that has been using questionable sales practices to secure customers in newly aggregated Quincy, Illinois. It was stated in the news story that there have been complaints that sales representatives, from an independent contractor Cydcor, are telling residents that they must sign up with ENCOA to receive the aggregate savings. "Transparency and great customer service are at the heart of ENCOA's corporate philosophy. Upon hearing the story and the concerns we immediately launched an internal review of our sales partner in the city of Quincy," states Victor Howard, VP of Marketing and Customer Service.
"We first heard about the concerns in the news story. The mayor's office has informed us that the aggregation project has been confusing to many residents and that this may have something to do with the issue. We are working with Mayor Spring's office to insure solid communication. At this time we would like to make it clear that we take these concerns seriously and a full internal review of our sales partner is in progress. ENCOA sales agents are trained and fully expected to utilize an ENCOA approved script. They are also trained not to sell against an aggregation," Howard added.
ENCOA's sales agent had secured permits for door-to-door selling in Quincy; they were also in clear communication with the Quincy police department about their presence in the city. At this time the sales agents have been reassigned until ENCOA's internal investigation is completed.
ENCOA is allowing anyone in Quincy to cancel their contract with no charge.
ENCOA (Energy Company of America) is an independent retail energy provider of electricity and natural gas for homes, small and medium-sized businesses, and large commercial customers. Headquartered in Houston, ENCOA focuses on helping customers lower their energy costs through simple, straightforward energy plans that provide peace of mind. As a subsidiary of Twin Eagle Resource Management, ENCOA enjoys the strength of market leadership and experience, a national presence in energy management, and a focus on integrity, teamwork, and innovation. For more information about ENCOA, please visit www.ENCOA.com.
ENCOA currently offers electricity in the Pennsylvania service areas of PECO, PPL, Duquesne Light, in the Ohio service area of Duke Energy, and in the Illinois service areas of ComEd, Ameren, and Nicor, where it now offers natural gas. ENCOA is rapidly expanding to other utilities and states. Check www.ENCOA.com for the status of service availability.