Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Co. DA warning of door-to-door energy bill scam

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - The Santa Cruz District Attorney's Consumer Affairs Office is warning residents of door-to-door sales people asking them to switch from PG&E has to Commerce Energy of Texas. 

According to prosecutors, the enticements are lower gas bills and greener energy, A number of residents have reported high press sales and promises of cost reductions for making the switch, claims that appear to be false.

A Capitola woman filed a complaint with the District Attorney's Office after discovering that her combination PG&E/Commerce Energy bill was higher after making the switch. The new bill included payments to both companies for gas therms, a procurement payment to Commerce and a deduction for PG&E procurement costs. The bill was about $20 more per month than her previous bill.

The DA's Office found that multiple complaints have been filed against Commerce energy nationwide, and the Better Business Bureau has issued the company an "F" rating for numerous unresolved complaints.

The cities of Santa Cruz, Capitola and Watsonville require door-to-door sellers to obtain business licenses before approaching residents. The DA's Office advises residents to ask to see a business license from anyone selling or canvassing door to door, and to call police if the sales person can't produce one.

Call the Santa Cruz County District Attorney's Consumer Affairs Division at 454-2050 with any questions.

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