Warning On Changing Electricity RatesOctober 25, 2015
By Representative Henry Genga
Electricity customers have often overpaid and need to be extra vigilant when reviewing their billing statements, especially if they’re purchasing from third-party electricity suppliers.
A recent survey by Connecticut’s Consumer Counsel found that more than three-quarters of energy consumers in Connecticut buying third party power paid more than the standard service rate.
This year, I was happy to support a bill that made Connecticut the first state in the nation to ban variable electric rates. The protections enacted require competitive electric suppliers to give their customers a 60-day notice before the end of their contracts. Suppliers cannot charge these customers a termination or early cancellation fee and must allow customers who want to switch to standard service the ability to do so within 72 hours. Please note that this ban started October 1, 2015, and only applies to new contracts and contracts renewed after that date.
The ban was implemented after consumers were found to be paying much more than they should have. In 2014, the Office of Consumer Counsel for Connecticut reported that residential customers were overpaying for electricity by an estimated $13.7 million a month. The customers used alternate independent electricity suppliers.
You can avoid being overcharged by simply examining your bill closely.
If you think you are being overcharged or treated unfairly by your utility company, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) can help. The PURA can be reached at 1-800-382-4586. As always, you can also feel free to reach out to my office if you have any questions about this or any issue.