HARRISBURG, Pa. (WKBN) – Fluctuation in energy prices has pushed many marketing agents out into neighborhoods going door to door trying to make sales.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission wants to make everyone aware of how this works and what to look out for to spot illegitimate sales tactics.

First, always check for identification from anyone coming to your door to talk to you about energy prices, discounts, providers, etc. Pennsylvania’s regulations for energy sales and marketing require agents who conduct door-to-door activities or appear at public events, to wear badges that clearly identify themselves and the supplier they are working for. 

Identification badges for energy sales agents must include the following: 

  • Accurate identification of the supplier, including its trade name and logo.
  • A photograph of the sales agent.
  • The full name of the sales agent.
  • A customer service phone number to contact the supplier. 
  • The ID badge must be prominently displayed.

Make sure you are certain who you are talking to and inspect the identification carefully. Know that sales agents are not allowed to say that they are working for the local utility, another supplier or government agencies like the PUCO. They also cannot wear hats or clothing that includes logos or branding that might suggest that they have a relationship with any government agency or supplier. They can’t carry clipboards or other accessories that could confuse consumers.

If an agent is trying to pressure you, that’s a sure sign to end the conversation. Clues can include an agent pressuring you to act now. Remember that you do not have to choose a competitive supplier for gas or electricity.

Agents must immediately leave a residence when requested to do so and furthermore, must honor a customer’s request to be exempted from future door-to-door sales and marketing activities. 

Customers facing an aggressive sales agent or suspecting a potential scam are urged to contact the PUC’s Bureau of Consumer Services at 1-800-692-7380 and consider filing an informal complaint. Consumers who feel threatened or are concerned about their safety should contact local authorities to report the incident. 

Keep in mind, you can shop around for rates online on sites that are operated by the PUCO such as  www.PAPowerSwitch.com (electric) and www.PAGasSwitch.com (natural gas). It’s a good place to learn about current supplier offerings and read consumer education fact sheets and information on energy efficiency and conservation. You can check and compare offers there, too.