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Are there TCPA exemptions for utilities?

In certain circumstances, utilities are exempt from following the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (TCPA) usual consent requirements. Namely, they are allowed to use the less stringent standard of implied consent if they are a bona fide non-profit or when sending non-marketing messages. Examples of such messages would be information about such topics as emergencies, circumstances where services will be shut off, and service notifications.

If customers provide their phone numbers to utilities without conditions and don’t opt out, this generally constitutes implied consent. As long as no part of the informational messages constitute any form of marketing, the messages should be complying with the consent rules. Remember, the number must have been provided to the utility company directly in the normal course of business without conditions on use and the messaging must cease when the number is reassigned or the consumer opts out.