"THIS WINTER, residential customers should be wary of competitive electric suppliers taking advantage of rising electric bills to lure new customers. We have all heard the stories of these predatory suppliers, and many of us have experienced their high-pressure sales tactics – on the phone, at the door, through a mailer – promising cheaper electricity.
Unfortunately, these promises are usually scams. In fact, our office found that, over a five-year period, Massachusetts’ individual residential customers on competitive electric supply suffered $426 million in net losses over what they would have paid their utility for basic service. The results are even more severe for low-income customers, who are twice as likely to be targeted and switched to competitive electric supply and pay higher rates on average when they do.
The competitive electric supply industry has never claimed that our office’s calculations of customers’ financial losses are wrong. Indeed, in the November 14 opinion piece, “Unitil settlement proves Healey wrong,” Dan Allegretti on behalf of the Retail Energy Supply Association, makes no attempt to defend the industry’s terrible record. Instead, the industry continues to grasp at straws."