Houghtaling Bill to Increase Penalties for Slamming Practices Clears Assembly Panel

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(TRENTON) - Bipartisan legislation sponsored in-part by Assembly Democrats Daniel Benson, Eric Houghtaling, and Paul Moriarty to strengthen state law against energy "slamming" practices was released on Monday by the Assembly Telecommunications panel.

Energy "slamming" is a practice that involves changing consumers' electric power or gas supplier without their knowledge or consent. 

"In the past year, certain third-party energy suppliers took advantage of an unusually cold winter to change consumers' energy suppliers without their knowledge or consent," said Houghtaling (D- Monmouth). "Energy "slamming" is anti-consumerism at its best and it impacts families in a way that hurts them the most, their budgets. This legislation takes a much needed step to protect residents from this unfair business practice."

The bill (A-1683) would increase civil penalties for energy "slamming" practiced from $10,000 for the first offense, and not more than $25,000 for the second and each subsequent offense, to $20,000 for the first offense, and not more than $50,000 for the second and each subsequent offense. 

The bill will now go to the Assembly Speaker for further review.

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