.02 Definitions.

A. In this subtitle, the following terms have the meanings indicated.

B. Terms Defined.

(1) Agent.

(a) “Agent” means a person who conducts marketing or sales activities, or both, on behalf of a licensed supplier or broker.

(b) “Agent” includes:

(i) An employee;

(ii) A representative;

(iii) An independent contractor;

(iv) A vendor;

(v) Subcontractors;

(vi) Employees;

(vii) Vendors; and

(viii) Representatives not directly contracted by the supplier who conduct marketing or sales activities on behalf of the supplier.

(2) "Account" means the record of customer information that is designated by a unique utility identifier for premises receiving gas service.

(3) "Commission" means the Public Service Commission of Maryland.

(4) “Consent” means an agreement with an action communicated by the following:

(a) A written document with customer signature;

(b) An electronic document with electronic signature; or

(c) A voice recording only if the agreement is exempt under the Maryland Telephone Solicitations Act.

(5) “Consumer” or “customer” means the regulated utility retail natural gas customer account holder.

(6) “Contract Summary” means a summary of the material terms and conditions of a retail energy supply contract, on a form provided by the Commission.

(7) "Daily-metered account" means a nonresidential gas account for which a customer:

(a) Purchases gas from a retail supplier; and

(b) Has a gas meter installed for the purpose of recording and reporting gas usage on at least a daily basis for the purpose of utility management of gas supply for the account.

(8) "Drop" means the removal of a customer from a supplier's service.

(9) "Electronic transaction" means a standardized data protocol or electronic transmission medium that has been accepted by the Commission for use in Maryland.

(10) "Enrollment" means the addition of a customer to a supplier's service.

(11) "Evergreen contract" means an existing contract that automatically renews without any action by the customer.

(12) "Gas company" has the meaning stated in Public Utilities Article, §1-101, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(13) "Gas supplier" or "supplier" means a person licensed under COMAR 20.54.

(14) "Interruptible service account" means a nonresidential gas account for which a customer:

(a) Purchases gas from a retail gas supplier; and

(b) Elects to receive utility service subject to interruption.

(15) "Overcharge" means the difference between the price a customer would have paid the customer's authorized supplier and what the customer paid to an unauthorized supplier.

(16) “Public event” means an event open to the public, which may facilitate retail natural gas sales and marketing activities or may result in a natural gas customer enrollment transaction.

(17) “Third party verification or TPV” means consent from the customer agreeing to each of the below-listed material contract terms that is recorded by an independent person not party to the agreement or may be performed by an automated, computerized system. To be valid, the TPV must occur without the presence of the sales agent, and at the outset must describe how the customer can cancel the TPV at any time prior to completion. The consent from the customer must include an acknowledgement:

(a) That he or she is voluntarily choosing to enroll with a supplier;

(b) Of the type of product offered such as variable, fixed, a combination of both;

(c) Of the price and duration of the contract;

(d) Of the amount of an early termination fee if applicable;

(e) That the customer is authorized to make the switch;

(f) Of the contract renewal procedures;

(g) That the customer may access future pricing information; and

(h) That the customer has received the supplier’s customer support contact information.

(18) "Sales service" means the supply of retail gas commodity service by the customer's gas company.

(19) "Utility" means a gas company as defined in Public Utilities Article, §1-101, Annotated Code of Maryland.

(20) "Utility consolidated billing" means a customer bill produced by a utility that contains both utility charges and supplier gas sales commodity charges.