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87% Of State's Voters Ages 50+ Oppose Opt-Out Municipal Aggregation

71% Favor Keeping Electric Choice, But With Stronger Consumer Protections

Nearly 90% Oppose Automatic Retail Supplier Contract Renewals Without Written Consent

Nearly 90% Support Keeping Utility-Supplied Default Service

January 31, 2020

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Copyright 2010-20
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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A survey of Connecticut voters ages 50 and older conducted for AARP found that nearly nine in ten voters oppose opt-out municipal aggregation for electricity

Specifically, 77% of respondents strongly oppose opt-out municipal aggregation, and another 10% somewhat oppose the mechanism

The survey also found that 71% of respondents believe that Connecticut should keep the competitive retail electric market but implement stronger consumer protections. Only 13% said that Connecticut should eliminate the competitive retail electric market completely.

Concerning consumer protections, 87% of respondents oppose the automatic re-enrollment of customers by retail suppliers without prior written consent

70% of respondents strongly support, and 12% somewhat support, legislation that would require retail electric suppliers to ensure that the rates they charge their re-enrolled customers for the entire contract period are never higher than the rates charged by Eversource and UI

Generally, 84% of respondents agree that Connecticut should do more to protect customers of third-party electric suppliers.

Some 69% of respondents believe it is very important (with 21% responding somewhat important) that the utilities continue to offer a, "standard electric supply plan that is priced at the lowest reasonable rate".

Other findings of the survey include:

• Six in ten (61%) have received competitive offers of lower rates within the past year but only one in seven (14%) have actually switched electric suppliers in the past year.

• Just under three in ten (28%) currently use third-party suppliers

• Roughly one in three (32%) do not understand the process for switching suppliers, which AARP said, "may be one reason for the relatively low use of third-party suppliers."

"The desire for stronger consumer protections may be another reason," AARP said

The AARP Connecticut state survey was conducted from November 21 through December 5, 2019, except for Thanksgiving Day (November 28, 2019). Forty percent of the respondents completed the survey on cell phones. The final sample included 1,015 Connecticut registered voters ages 50 and older and excluded respondents who live in zip codes covered by electric cooperatives. The total sample of 1,015 respondents as well as the sample of 979 electricity customers yield a maximum statistical error of ±3.1% at the 95% level of confidence.

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