This article was originally published in the Hartford Courant on April 26, in their ‘Letters to the Editor’ section.
As an energy brokerage and consultancy, we know the importantance of shopping. Now is the time to lock-in at extremely beneficial rates before prices come back up.
The Office of Consumer Counsel’s review of electric rates is flawed and could mislead Connecticut consumers to pay more for electricity and miss out on other benefits [April 21, Connecticut, “Switching May Not Pay”]. The office claims that two-thirds of customers with competitive suppliers overpaid in 2015. However, customers who don’t shop with a competitive electricity supplier and stay with the utilities overpay millions of dollars every month. That’s because competitive suppliers for the past decade have offered rates below the utilities. Each month, the state-run rate board (www.energizect.com) displays dozens of fixed-rate offers from competitive suppliers that are significantly lower than the utility price — over 30 percent less in some cases.
The report also fails to factor in supplier products and services — such as renewable energy, smart home products, energy efficiency services, cash back and rewards programs, to name just a few — that can affect the total value the customer receives. We agree with the consumer counsel’s recommendation that customers should shop for the best rate. Customers in Connecticut can greatly benefit from the competitive market if they’re encouraged to shop and educated about the benefits of energy choice.
Craig Goodman, Washington, D.C.
The writer is president of the National Energy Marketers Association.