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September 8, 2022

‘No salve to customers:’ PURA revokes energy supplier’s license, issues $1M fine

PHOTO | Contributed Power transmission lines.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on Wednesday revoked an electric supplier’s license and fined the company $1 million, after finding that it failed to comply with several PURA orders.

The company, Sunwave Gas & Power CT, will be required to pay a $1 million fine. PURA also affirmed Sunwave’s obligation to pay restitution to customers.

After an investigation, PURA found that Suvwave violated state statutes by not maintaining membership in ISO-NE, which oversees New England's bulk electric power system and transmission lines, while continuing to advertise its services on

Also, PURA said Sunwave failed to notify customers and distribution companies of its cessation of business.

PURA issued a notice of violation, and after a hearing in May, found that Sunwave demonstrated a “lack of managerial and financial capability,” as required by state statute.

PURA suspended Sunwave's license for five years and ordered it to pay restitution to customers.

However, Sunwave failed to comply with the restitution order, PURA said. Sunwave presented testimony and exhibits to contest the allegations during a hearing on Aug. 18. Sunwave said it did not have the resources to comply with the order.

The company claimed it had no customers, revenue, cash or assets, along with "significant liabilities."

PURA commissioners were not persuaded by Sunwave's argument.

“The company’s supposed inability to properly compensate customers for the financial harm the customers have incurred does not mitigate the gravity of the harm,” the Sept. 7 decision states. “Sunwave’s actions have resulted in a direct economic impact to customers. That Sunwave has so mismanaged its finances
to be unable to provide restitution is no salve to these customers and no basis for tempering sanctions.”

PURA ordered Sunwave to direct $950,000 of the fine to Operation Fuel, which provides emergency assistance to Connecticut residents struggling to pay energy and utility bills, and $50,000 to the state.

Also, Sunwave is required to reimburse customers who were on contracts with rates lower than the standard rate in a service territory $20 per month for the remainder of the contract term for residential customers, and $40 per month for nonresidential customers. The reimbursements will be in the form of a bill credit.

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