Consumer Protections For Electricity
Consumer protection regulations exist to protect both customers and sellers against unfair market practices. In Connecticut the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has been working to regulate private third-party electricity suppliers to help keep electric costs low for residents.
Third Party Electricity Providers in CT
In 1998, the state legislature passed laws that allowed private, investor-owned companies to sell electricity to residents. Customers would have more options besides their local utility company. They could actually choose their electric provider to lower their monthly costs.
Unfortunately, many customers of suppliers ended up paying more than they would have on the standard service rate and PURA found that some suppliers engaged in questionable practices such as:
- Targeting low-income households with high rates
- Promising low electricity costs for an initial period of time, but then implementing much higher electricity costs on renewals
- Applying variable, versus flat rates, on monthly bills with unpredictable and ongoing cost increases
- Charging cancellation fees
With Connecticut already an expensive state for energy costs, these practices required stronger regulation and strict oversight.
Connecticut’s Consumer Protection Laws Ensure Reasonable Electricity Costs
PURA continues to monitor the supplier market to help customers get the best results. PURA passed new rules to prevent third party competitive suppliers from engaging in illegal marketing and the General Assembly passed legislation banning variable rates for residential customers.
Additionally, Governor Lamont signed legislation against the practice of charging cancellation fees once a residential customer decides to end their contract with a third party electricity provider and preventing suppliers from contracting with hardship customers for rates greater than the standard service rate.
Learn more about PURA’s involvement in Connecticut’s consumer protection efforts for electricity customers.