U.S. Senator Calls For End Of Residential Electric Choice
February 4, 2019 Email This Story Copyright 2010-19 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • email@example.com
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Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, AARP and other consumer advocates today called on Connecticut lawmakers to end residential electric choice, which AARP said, "economically harms consumers."
Katz circulated a draft bill that is to be introduced to end residential electric choice
AARP said that, from 2015 through 2018, "Connecticut consumers using third-party electric suppliers paid an estimated $200 million more than consumers on electric utility standard service."
"Third-party electric suppliers rely on predatory sales tactics to trick folks into unwittingly signing up for contracts," said Katz. "What’s more, our residents – especially those who are low-income, elderly, use English as a second language, and other vulnerable populations – are getting ripped off by these third-party suppliers which often charge significantly higher rates than the electric utility default service. Enough is enough. We’ve heard it all – aggressive marketing tactics on our own doorsteps, harassing telemarketing calls laced with lies, utility company impersonation, slamming, and more. The time has come to eliminate this economic burden and protect all consumers – including our most vulnerable – from deceitful marketing while at the same time creating innovative ways to offer renewable energy products and products that will reward electric usage reductions. Let’s keep our hard-earned dollars where they belong – in Connecticut consumer wallets."
Senator Blumenthal said, "Third-party electric suppliers are predatory players in the retail electric market – deploying deceitful, destructive and disgraceful marketing tactics and ripping off customers with exorbitant rates and fees. Consumers desperately need and deserve protection from abuses in the residential electric supply market. Ending this fraught market – so hazardous and harmful to consumer pocketbooks – should be a priority."
John Erlingheuser, AARP Connecticut advocacy director added, "Choosing an electric supplier is complex and confusing without the tricks of unscrupulous suppliers, which are misleading at best and corrupt at worst. Even if we could eradicate all of the deceptive suppliers and build a wall of consumer protections around the third-party market, ratepayers will still be stuck with contracts that cost more money than the traditional default standard electric service. The process does not allow for an apples to apples comparison."
AARP said that, in her proposal to end residential retail electric choice, Consumer Counsel Katz supports utility default standard service that will include renewable products and innovative rate structures.