THOUSANDS OF CONSUMERS TO RECEIVE ELECTRIC REFUND CHECKS FOLLOWING THIRD-PARTY SUPPLIER RATE NOTICE ERROR
(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong announced that thousands of Connecticut consumers will receive refund checks from third-party electric suppliers following systematic rate notice errors dating back to 2016.
The Office of the Attorney General and Office of Consumer Counsel first cautioned against the potential for such errors in 2015, and urged the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to put in place measures to ensure the accuracy of electric suppliers' reported rates. Then in 2018, former State Sen. Len Suzio filed a complaint with PURA after noticing his electric bills listed the wrong "next cycle rate" for his electric supplier. In his case, his bills stated his next cycle rate at 7 cents per kWh, when in fact he was charged12.99 cents per kWh. Had the correct next cycle rate been listed, consumers could have used the information to change to a lower cost supplier or switch to the standard service offer of their respective electric utility—Eversource Energy or United Illuminating. For an average residential customer, a "next cycle rate" billing error could have resulted in a monthly overcharge of $45—meaning such consumers who were with electric suppliers between 2016 through early 2019 could see hundreds of dollars in refunds soon. Refund checks will be mailed through this summer to both current and non-current customers of electric suppliers affected by the billing errors, with some refund checks already issued to affected customers.
The Office of the Attorney General intervened in the PURA docket initiating the refund program to ensure complete refunds to all impacted consumers.
"Thousands of Connecticut consumers will see substantial refunds soon due to this egregious billing error by third-party electric suppliers. I am grateful to former Sen. Len Suzio for identifying this significant problem. The Office of the Attorney General fought to ensure complete refunds to all impacted consumers, and will continue to ensure that electric suppliers adhere to consumer protection laws through both advocacy and enforcement. Electric rates are too high in Connecticut as it is, and consumers cannot afford to overpay, especially as a result of systematic error and noncompliance with consumer protection laws," said Attorney General William Tong.
Third-party suppliers who must provide refunds include: Aequitas Energy, Inc.; Agera Energy, LLC; Ambit Northeast, LLC; Choice Energy, LLC; Constellation New Energy, Inc.; Direct Energy Services, LLC; Discount Power, Inc.; Energy Plus Holdings, LLC; Engie Retail, LLC d/b/a Think Energy; Hiko Energy, LLC; Liberty Power Holdings; Major Energy Electric Services, LLC;; North American Power and Gas, LLC; Reliant Energy Northeast; Perigee Energy, LLC; Spark Energy, LLC; Town Square Energy, LLC; and Verde Energy, LLC.