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AARP Statement on CT Electric Consumer Legislation-SB2

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AARP Connecticut released the following statement from state advocacy director, John Erlingheuser, regarding the recent passage of Senate Bill 2: 

“Senate Bill 2 does add some transparency to the third party electric supply market, however, it does little to address the types of egregious practices of some third party electric suppliers that got us into this crisis in the first place. AARP Connecticut and other consumer advocates, including ConnPIRG, Connecticut Citizens Action Group and LARCC are calling on Legislators to amend Senate Bill 2 to include the strongest possible consumer protections."  
“We believe the issues listed below, not currently addressed in the Bill, are critical to protecting electric consumers, many of whom are older adults":

• Cancellation fees still exist for most month to month contracts. 
• No cap on increases of variable rates.    Under the current version of SB2, variable rate contracts can rise without limit.
• Suppliers should be required to disclose in their contracts IF they have a self-imposed rate cap and what that is so consumers can make informed decisions.  
• Currently SB2 does not require suppliers to disclose their rate formula or how they calculate their variable rates.  This is a critical requirement to protect consumers from practices exposed in a regulatory docket that proved there was more driving supplier rate increases than “market conditions.”  
• Suppliers can still auto renew people into variable rate contracts.  There is a 45 day notice, but there is still an auto renew.  This practice is what resulted in thousands of complaints and created the current third party supplier crisis.
• SB2 does not provide for an investigatory or enforcement Unit at PURA.   Currently they are powerless to to deal with the hundreds of third party electric supplier complaints and the suppliers are held harmless.


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