Attorney General Tong, Office of Consumer Counsel Call for Investigation into Eversource Marketing Tactics
(Hartford, CT)—Attorney General William Tong and the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) today filed a petition with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) calling for an investigation into Eversource’s marketing tactics.
The petition, filed Wednesday evening, comes after media reports that Eversource was using high pressure and time sensitive tactics to entice customers in the South Windsor area to convert to natural gas. The allegations raise serious concerns and if true, could violate a number of Connecticut laws.
According to a column in the Hartford Courant, a customer in South Windsor was sent a mailing by Eversource that said the town “will permanently pave your road in September, so you must sign up for natural gas by August 7, 2021.” The mailer also stated that “once your road has been resurfaced, it will be several years before the pavement can be opened again due to the town’s paving moratorium.” Eversource has said the mailers were sent in error.
“These mailers and high-pressure marketing tactics are nothing short of alarming,” Attorney General Tong said. “Connecticut consumers should not be subjected to these deceptive and misleading marketing tactics for any product, much less a regulated utility service. Eversource already needs to regain Connecticut’s trust after their failure to respond adequately to Tropical Storm Isaias last year and these mailers do not inspire confidence. Connecticut and its ratepayers should be able to expect more from Eversource. I have requested an investigation at PURA, and I stand ready to take action to protect Connecticut consumers.”
"I am deeply disturbed and offended by the contents of Eversource's natural gas expansion mailers," said Acting Consumer Counsel Richard E. Sobolewski. "The people of Connecticut should not be subjected to deceptive, high-pressure marketing tactics that possibly violate the laws of the state. That Eversource would sink to such base tactics speaks volumes about their current desperation as a company. In the past year, Eversource has lost the trust of most Connecticut consumers--these actions do nothing to help regain that. I look forward to PURA's investigation."
The petition asks PURA to immediately begin an investigation into Eversource. It reads “Connecticut consumers remain free to make home energy choices that make the most sense for their personal household situations and finances. No member of the Connecticut public should be subjected to aggressive, potentially illegal marketing tactics conducted by Eversource or any other natural gas company. Accordingly, OCC and OAG jointly request that the Authority immediately commence an investigation into this matter and assess all such penalties and relief as authorized by Connecticut law.”
A copy of the petition can be found here.