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PURA Report: More Than 70% Of Residential Customers On Competitive Supply Paid More Than Default Service During Second Half Of 2018

Complaints Against Suppliers Down 32%

March 27, 2019

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Copyright 2010-19
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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The Connecticut PURA released its Annual Report To The Legislature - State Of Electric Competition for the year 2018

In it, PURA included a table (included below) summarizing the residential Monthly Supplier Rates for 2018 for all customers that are billed through the EDCs.

"The data indicates that greater than 50% of all residential customers taking service from a licensed supplier paid more than the Standard Service rate for their generation supply during the first half of 2018. The percentage increased to over 72% in the second half of 2018," PURA said

PURA included the following table concerning supplier rates compared to standard service:

"The Authority presents this information as a snapshot of rates charged in 2018, but recognizes that supplier contracts may last for longer than six-month Standard Service rates and therefore may reflect risk premiums not reflected in Standard Service rates. Supplier rates may include other terms (such as gift card incentives, cancellation fees, or monthly fees) that are not calculated in the rates. In addition, some customers may be served under contracts with renewable energy content that exceeds Connecticut’s minimum renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The generation supply rate for such offers may exceed the Standard Service rate," PURA said

PURA reported that the supplier choice information on the website (Rate Board) was visited over 250,000 times in 2018. PURA said that customers tend to shop more in the winter, when prices in New England are traditionally higher

PURA said that 25 suppliers were active on the Rate Board

PURA reported a 32% decline in complaints against retail suppliers in 2018 (from 620 to 417). For the Authority’s purposes, a registered complaint represents a customer who first contacted his utility company about an issue, but remained dissatisfied with the response. The complaint does not necessarily reflect the validity of the customer’s allegation, just that the customer was not satisfied with the company’s service, response or proposed resolution.

Complaint data is below:

In its report last year, the Authority noted that there was a significant increase in the total number of supplier-related complaints filed during calendar year 2017. The number of complaints filed in 2017 had increased by approximately 9% from the previous year. The Authority had received a significant number of complaints regarding solicitation practices, incidents of sales agent misrepresentation and phony caller ID issues or spoofing.

"In 2018 the Authority recorded a decrease in the total number of supplier-related complaints coinciding with the decrease in the number of supplier customers," PURA said

"The Authority continues to receive complaints in six main categories: billing, general complaints, payment arrangements, qualify of service, slamming, and termination," PURA said

Total electricity shopping as of December 2018 was 434,000 accounts, or 27.4% of statewide customer accounts. The number of accounts on competitive supply is down from 475,000 a year ago.

PURA's annual report also provides a brief recap of several retail market proceedings (Next Cycle Rate info, transfer of hardship customers to default services) and various enforcement proceedings against retail suppliers, which have been exclusively previously reported by throughout the year

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