February 4, 2014
PURA to Hold Public Hearings on Electric Suppliers
Consumer Comment Sought on Experience in Competitive Retail Marketplace
Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced it will hold a series of public hearings to solicit public comment in its ongoing investigation of the electric supplier market in Connecticut.
PURA initiated the investigation in response to an increase in customer complaints against electric suppliers and to review the current operations and marketing rules governing participants in the Connecticut electric retail market.
After a period of gathering public comment and evidence, PURA plans to clarify new requirements applicable to the supplier market and establish rules and guidelines for electric suppliers and electric distribution companies. Among the topics under review are customer switching practices, types of generation services and products allowed (fixed, variable, blended rates), regulatory filing requirements, marketing conduct, customer notices, and disclosure requirements.
The preliminary public comment hearings will be open to all, and have been scheduled in the early evening to facilitate participation. The first hearing will be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., in the City Hall Auditorium, 70 West River Street, Milford, followed by another hearing on Thursday, February 20, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., in the Farmington Community Senior Center, 321 New Britain Avenue, Unionville. Two more evening sessions are scheduled for Monday, February 24, 2014, at 6:30 p.m., in Room 135, Brookfield Town Hall, 100 Pocono Road, Brookfield, and on Tuesday, February 25, 2014, in the Norwich City Hall, 100 Broadway, Norwich, at 6:30 p.m. The hearing will continue at PURA's offices, Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, on Monday, March 3, 2014, at 10:30 a.m.
Customers may speak on the record at any of the hearings, or may file written comments with the PURA by writing to:
Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
10 Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
Comments may also be submitted to the PURA via e-mail addressed to PURA.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov
. Filers should reference PURA Docket No. 13-07-18, PURA Establishment of Rules for Electric Suppliers and EDCs Concerning Operations and Marketing in the Electric Retail Market, in any written correspondence.
For years, Connecticut's electric customers have been able to choose electric generation service from a multitude of companies. In many instances, rates offered provided savings over the rates offered by the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) or the United Illuminating Company (UI), referred to as the standard offer.
However, as the marketplace has evolved, some competitive suppliers have actively promoted variable rate products. Those variable offers may include an attractive introductory fixed rate, but savings can be offset by rate changes after the fixed rate period, when the rate reverts to a month-to-month variable rate. Variable rates may lead to higher costs for consumers and surprise those who have not read the fine print of their contracts and closely monitored their bills. Customers can compare current offers on www.energizect.com
, or by calling 1-877-WISE-USE. The "EnergizeCT" website also includes the helpful customer guide "How to Assess Suppliers."