West Shore Home now operating in Houston

Mechanicsburg-based West Shore Home, a residential remodeling company with an expanding national footprint, has opened a branch in Houston.

The business, founded in 2006, specializes in window, door and bath remodeling and replacement; its technology-enabled platform enables one-day installation.

West Shore Home now has 31 operational locations in 15 states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Virginia.

The Houston branch will create dozens of jobs, according to a release.

“We are committed to providing the fastest, most convenient home remodeling services in the market,” said B.J. Werzyn, president and CEO. “With this new branch, we have the ability to reach millions of homeowners in the Houston region with our professional one-day installations.”

The Houston branch, at 10551 Ella Blvd., Suite 200, provides office space, sales facilities and a warehouse for custom bath, window and door products. West Shore Home already has Texas locations in Dallas and Austin.

Paula Wolf is a freelance writer.

Pa. utilities commission cites Houston energy company accused of deceptive sales

The state’s utility commission is seeking $8.8 million in penalties from an energy company in Houston, Texas for allegedly using misleading and deceptive sales tactics with Pennsylvania customers.

The Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is calling for Verde Energy USA’s sales license to be revoked in Pennsylvania, alleging the company violated an estimated 9,000 state laws related to the sale of utilities.

Verde’s alleged transgressions date back to February 2017, PUC attorneys stated in a Jan. 30 complaint. The complaint alleges 3,922 incidents of Verde associates creating user accounts without customer authorization and says 339 reports from Pennsylvania consumers describe deceptive telemarketing or door-to-door activities from the company and its associates.

Allentown-based electric services company PPL alerted PUC’s Office of Competitive Market Oversight in June of 2019 that Verde associates used deceptive sales tactics, including enrolling customers without authorization and accessing customer data while participating in Pennsylvania’s competitive supplier retail market.

PPL said Verde had potentially used an eligible customer list from the commission to employ deceptive practices and access approximately 4,000 customer accounts on PPL’s website without customer authorization.

Eighty-five percent of consumer complaints said Verde associates conducted misleading telemarketing behavior by failing to self-identify, identify their supplier or a reason for contacting them. Some Verde representatives are alleged to have told customers they were with PPL or other electric generation suppliers.

Of the 339 customer accounts alleged to have been impacted by Verde’s conduct, 41 were seniors, three were deceased, 12 were infirmed, disable or otherwise unwell and 12 alleged that Verde refused to cancel enrollments once the customer complained or brought the deceptive acts to its attention, according to the commission’s complaint.

Verde Energy USA is licensed to serve electricity distribution services companies across Pennsylvania — Allegheny Power, Duquesne Light Company, Metropolitan Edison Company, Pennsylvania Electric Company, Pennsylvania Power Company, PECO, PPL Electric Utilities and UGI. A spokesperson for Verde Energy declined to comment on any ongoing regulatory or legal matters.

“We do not condone misleading sales practices under any circumstances and are committed to providing green energy choices for Pennsylvanians in full compliance with all laws and regulations,” Verde said in an email statement. “We look forward to working with the Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement to address these allegations.”