Switching (It’s Easy!)

Posted on Posted in Consumer Advocacy, Customer Service, Deregulated Electricity, Fixed Rates, Uncategorized
New Haven from East Rock Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
New Haven from East Rock
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Connecticut’s electricity consumers have the right to shop for their own electric supplier. While there’s still the option to stick with the state-regulated Standard Service Offer,the range of energy choices has grown over the years and now features a variety of suppliers offering a variety of plans with different lengths, better rates, incentives, and customer rewards.

Switching your service to a new Connecticut electric supplier is easy. It begins with shopping around for the offers that work best for your family. The best place to gather information and learn about the different suppliers in this state is to see how other customers rate them right here at CT Energy Ratings.

While you’re shopping for a new electricity supplier, it helps to know some of the laws in place that protect both you and the supplier as well as some things to bare in mind to help you find the best deal.

PURA Rules for Electric Suppliers

Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) oversees and licenses electric suppliers to sell services in Connecticut. Some of PURA’s basic regulations covering ALL licensed electric suppliers in Connecticut are:

Suppliers may only sell fixed rate contracts. Variable plans were banned in October, 2015. A fixed rate plan offers electricity for a set price per kilowatthour (kWh) for the length of the plan’s term (usually described in billing cycles).

Residential cancellation fees cannot exceed $50. In some states, early termination fees can cost $200 or more. Connecticut limits this fee, allowing consumers more latitude to change providers.

Suppliers must notify you in advance about any plan rate changes. When a plan is ending, suppliers must inform you first about any changes in the generation rate before automatically renewing your enrollment.

Suppliers must meet enrollment deadlines. When you sign up with a new supplier, they need to submit new enrollments at least two days before the date of the next meter reading. New rates take effect on that meter reading date. Missing this deadline delays the switch until the next meter read and billing period.

Supplier must provide a PURA approved disclosure label. The disclosure label provides generation source and emission information about the electricity they provide.

Shopping Tips

As you compare supplier plans, keep on the lookout for specific details about the plan that could cost or save you money:

  1. How long is the contract?
  2. Are there monthly savings if I switch?
  3. Does the contract automatically renew? How much time do I have to decide if I want to renew?
  4. Is there a cancellation fee?
  5. Is there an enrollment fee, security deposit, or other fee?
  6. Any late payment fees or other fees?
  7. What incentives or customer rewards do they offer?
  8. How’s their customer service?
  9. How do the rate on the PURA complaints score card?

Switching to a New Connecticut Electricity Supplier

Once you decide on a new provider, be sure to sign up with them via phone or through their website at least 10 days before your next meter read so that your account will be switched on that date. Switching providers is limited to once a month because it can take both your electricity supplier and your local utility (Eversource or UI) up to two weeks to verify your account information and finish processing the switch request before the next meter read.

While 10 days sounds inconvenient, inefficient, and long, it actually gives you extra time to change your mind. All Connecticut energy consumers have what’s called the Right of Rescission. That means you can cancel an agreement with an electricity supplier no later than three days after signature or receipt of the written agreement and not have to pay an early termination fee.

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