Connecticut residents overpaid $58 million for electricity in 2015, according to the office of the state Consumer Counsel.
They crunched the numbers from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and said Connectciut residents combined paid $58 million more than they would have if they stayed with the utility Standard Service price.
Retail suppliers served an average of 33.55 percent of Eversource Energy residential customers and 37.84 percent of United Illuminating residential customers.
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In 2015, 64.21 percent of residential supplier customers paid more than standard service in Eversource territory and 59.82 percent of customers paid more than standard service in UI territory.
“One of the trends we have seen in analyzing this data is that those supplier customers who pay more than Standard Service often pay much more, while those who save money often only save a small amount,” Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz said in a statement. “This may be due to higher prices in automatically renewed contracts, after an initial contract period with attractive pricing expires. I encourage customers who want to contract with an electric supplier to be mindful of the end of the initial contract period, and to shop for the best rate or switch to Standard Service at the end of that contract period.”
Katz urges customers to monitor their electric bills to ensure they are not overpaying for electricity and said there is no fee for customers to return to the Eversource or UI Standard Service rate from a third-party supplier and the transaction takes less than 72 hours to complete.
She also said customers should consider whether an early termination fee is applicable and such fees may not exceed $50 for residential customers.
She also advises consumers to be wary of upfront “enrollment” fees.
Between Jan. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016, the Standard Service rate for Eversource customers is 9.55 cents per kilowatt hour and the Standard Service rate for UI customers is 10.73 cents per kilowatt hour.
New rates for both utilities for the period of July 2016 through December 2016 will be announced in a few weeks.
Customers who wish to return to Standard Service or have questions about their current supply rate can call Eversource at 1-800-286-2000, or UI at 1-800-722-5584. Consumers who wish to shop for current third-party supplier rates may do so at http://www.energizect.com/, or call 1-800-382-4586 for more information.