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Tips on Electricity Shopping from State Officials

The state Attorney General and Consumer Counsel offer some tips on shopping for electricity in Connecticut as lower rates take effect Jan. 1 in this joint news release.

 

Connecticut's Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz are alerting consumers to new lower electric generation rates that take effect Jan. 1, 2013 for residential and business customers of Connecticut Light & Power Co. and United Illuminating Co.

“This is a good time for Connecticut residents to carefully examine their electricity bill and to compare generation service providers for the best rates,” said Attorney General Jepsen. “Investing a little time now in comparison shopping could reduce monthly electric bills in the year ahead.”

Consumer Counsel Katz cautioned, “There are many competing providers of electric generation services offering both fixed and variable rates. Consumers should re-examine the terms and conditions of their current service before renewing their contract in light of the new lower standard offer service rates being offered by CL&P and UI.”

Under changes approved recently by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, CL&P’s generation service rate for residential customers will drop by about 0.7 cents to 7.615 cents per kilowatt hour and UI’s rate for the same service will fall by a little more than a cent to 7.697 cents per kilowatt hour. Business customers will see similar reductions.

For the average residential customer who uses CL&P as their electricity supplier, monthly generation service charges could drop by about $5 a month. Similar UI customers could see a drop of approximately $7.50 per month.”

Consumers who are shopping among competitive electric suppliers seeking the lowest possible rates should compare the CL&P and UI standard offer rate to competitive supplier rates. UI’s rate is firm for 2013; CL&P’s rate is firm for six months and will likely be adjusted slightly for the second half of the year.

Generation supplier services account for about half of a customer’s total electric bill. Delivery services account for the remainder.

The Attorney General and Consumer Counsel also cautioned consumers to be informed about terms and conditions imposed by alternative generation suppliers who may advertise a lower short-term or variable rate or impose termination fees on customers who seek lower prices elsewhere.

“Be especially cautious if a supplier cannot or refuses to explain clearly how you will be charged after the expiration of any introductory rate, and for the duration of the contract, so that you can compare rates,” Katz said. “Be sure to ask about terms and conditions such as early termination fees before you sign a contract.”

Jepsen urged consumers to file a complaint with PURA about any supplier that misrepresents its prices, terms or conditions of service.

More information about electric generating rates and choosing an electric supplier can be found at www.ctenergyinfo.com and selecting “Choosing an Electric Supplier,” or by calling PURA at 1-800-382-4586.

Editor's note: The news release above can be found on the Connecticut Attorney General's website.

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