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Press Releases

01/26/2015

DCP, Attorney General Remind Residents that Price Gouging on Consumer Items, Energy Resources Prohibited

For immediate release                                                                        MONDAY, JANUARY 26, 2015
HARTFORD – Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris are reminding residents and retailers that state law prohibits price gouging on consumer items and energy resources during the current civil preparedness emergency in Connecticut.
 
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has declared a civil preparedness emergency in Connecticut in advance of the incoming storm. While an emergency period is in effect, consumer items cannot be priced higher than they would be during the normal course of business. Violations are considered an unfair or deceptive trade practice and violators are subject to fines.
 
Additionally, energy dealers are prohibited from charging unconscionably excessive prices for energy resources such as heating oil, gasoline, propane, natural gas, electricity and wood fuels, among others. Violators may be subject to penalties.
 
"In light of the Governor's emergency declaration, Connecticut residents should be advised that it is against the law for retailers to excessively raise prices on consumer goods or energy products," said Attorney General Jepsen. "Anyone who suspects price gouging or profiteering should report it to my office or to the Department of Consumer Protection for investigation.”
 
“Business owners should be aware that in light of this emergency, unwarranted price increases on items such as baby formula, diapers, food, water, batteries, generators, lodging, and especially heating fuel and gasoline will be subject to investigation and possible enforcement action,” Commissioner Harris said. “This situation requires responsible action on everyone’s part.”
 
The Department of Consumer Protection is monitoring the gasoline and home heating fuel market, and will take consumer complaints about suspected price gouging on these items.  Anyone who suspects unconscionably excessive fuel pricing or profiteering may call the Department’s Hotline at 1-800-842-2649 during business hours, and at 860-713-6160 when the agency is closed. You may also e-mail dcp.foodandstandards@ct.gov.  Please be sure to provide the business name and address and the price you observed.
 
Complaints about suspected price gouging for water or other consumer goods may be sent to dcp.frauds@ct.gov or to attorney.general@ct.gov.
Assistant Attorneys General Brendan Flynn and Thomas Saadi are assisting the Attorney General with this matter.
 
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Media Contacts:
 
Office of the Attorney General:
Jaclyn M. Falkowski
Jaclyn.falkowski@ct.gov
860-808-5324 (office)
860-655-3903 (cell)
 
Department of Consumer Protection:
Claudette Carveth
claudette.carveth@ct.gov
860-713-6022 (office)
860-670-4552
 
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