Valley Clean Energy — the official, locally governed electricity provider for Woodland, Davis and unincorporated Yolo County — is acting to reassure customers that recent reports of utility fraud are not connected to the agency in any way.
Valley Clean Energy began offering customers clean, low-carbon power in June 2018 and now serves more than 54,000 customers countywide. The nonprofit public agency reinvests its revenues back into the communities it serves.
The reassurance comes after last week’s warning from Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig that residents should beware of utility service providers who are switching customers’ gas or electric service without consent or authorization.
“Residents who filed complaints with the District Attorney’s Office did not know that their service provider was switched until they received a letter from their primary utility service provider confirming their request to switch to another provider for gas or electric services,” Reisig wrote. “None of the residents who filed reports authorized the change.”
Reisig added that the fraudulent switches, all of which affected Woodland customers, occurred in June.
Valley Clean Energy pools the electricity demands of the three communities it serves and purchases power with higher renewable and lower greenhouse gas content than is offered by PG&E, said Mitch Sears, VCE’s interim general manager.
PG&E continues to deliver the electricity, maintain the power lines, handle customer billing and respond to new service requests and emergencies, Sears added.
Customers who want to stay with PG&E for their electricity can opt out of VCE if they wish, he said, adding that VCE “will never fraudulently change a customer’s preferred utility provider.”
“This type of practice, which is called ‘slamming,’ is the method chosen by so-called ‘bad actors’ in the energy industry,” Sears said. “We are a locally controlled agency that would never engage in this type of unscrupulous activity.”
“We support the District Attorney’s efforts to notify VCE and PG&E customers about fraudulent energy-related activities and encourage anyone who has been switched to a new utility provider without permission to report it to the Yolo County District Attorney’s Office.”
Yolo County residents who suspect they have been “slammed” should call the DA’s fraud hotline at 855-4-YOLO-DA or 530-666-8180, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valley Clean Energy not ‘slamming’ customers, by Woodland Daily Democrat Staff, Woodland Daily Democrat, August 7, 2019.