Three former Alberta Energy Savings salespeople charged with enrolling homeowners in contracts without their permission have been fined a total of $6,800 and sentenced to one year probation, including community service.
The three were charged in February for forging the homeowners' signatures on energy contracts and for impersonating customers during verification calls with the Alberta Energy Savings' call centre.
The convictions stem from June 2009, when the Alberta government received four complaints that homeowners in Edmonton, Barrhead and Innisfail were enrolled in longterm electricity and natural gas contracts without their knowledge or consent.
Between May 31 and July 8, each of the accused pleaded guilty to one count under Alberta's Energy Marketing Regulation, which requires salespeople to obtain consent from consumers if they are to enroll them in a contract.
"This is a clear message that the Alberta government and the courts will not tolerate energy marketers and salespeople taking advantage of consumers," Heather Klimchuk, minister of Service Alberta said in a statement.
Alberta Energy Savings, now known as Just Energy, was not aware of the criminal activities of its former employees. The company fully cooperated with the investigation and cancelled the fraudulent contracts, Service Alberta officials said.