More than 1,300 residents have complained about skyrocketing electric rates from their third-party suppliers, and new regulations took effect at the beginning of the month to combat spiking prices.
The new laws are part of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s “Electric Supplier Consumers’ Bill of Rights,” which was introduced during the 2014 legislative session with the goal of “creating greater transparency and increasing protections” for customers, according to a news release from Malloy’s office.
New laws regulating the state’s electricity market began to take effect July 1, and include the following provisions:
- Electric bills are now required to show what customers’ rates would have been under standard rather than third-party service
- Providers must post their highest and lowest possible rates online and send them to PURA
- Initial rates must remain fixed for at least three months after customers sign up
- Suppliers must allow customers to switch back to standard service within 48 hours or to another third-party provider within 30 days of signing up
- After a year, providers must allow customers to switch to another provider within 48 hours if they so choose
- Suppliers must minimize or eliminate early termination fees
- Suppliers must obtain written consent from customer before switching that customer from fixed-rate to variable-rate contract
The new law also gives regulators additional oversight and allows them to more closely monitor and penalize “unfair, deceptive and abusive sales practices,” according to the release.
“This ‘Bill of Rights’ will help put an end to misleading and deceptive marketing practices by giving Connecticut consumers the information and resources they need to shop around for the best price, choose the electric retailer that works best for them and, ultimately, to save money on their monthly electricity bill,” Malloy said in a statement Thursday. “I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, this is all part of our commitment to ensuring our residents have access to cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable power.”