Last year, AARP Connecticut successfully opposed a plan to eliminate Connecticut’s standard offer electric service that would have forced nearly 800,000 residents to purchase their electricity from a third-party electric supplier. Through that effort, AARP engaged thousands of consumers and subsequently brought to light many of the unscrupulous marketing practices and customer abuses taking place in the deregulated market, and the need for additional consumer protections. In 2014, AARP is working with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), the Office of Consumer Counsel, The Attorney General's Office and state lawmakers to strengthen and improve consumer protections in the competitive electric supply market so that ratepayers have the information they need to save money on their electric bills and avoid being taken advantage of.
Lawmakers recently introduced legislation, Senate Bill 2, that AARP believes is a good step toward protecting consumers from the pitfalls and abuses in the third party electric supply market. However, we think stronger protections and a more holistic approach to fixing the market is needed. At a recent public hearing before the General Assembly's Energy and Technology Committee, AARP spelled out to lawmakers why additional reforms are needed, and outlined our recommendations. Read AARP's full testimony here. We are hopeful that legislators will pass legislation this year to enact the strongest protections possible.
We are encouraging resident's who have experienced unexpected or unreasonably high electric bills after switching from Standard Service provided by UI or CL&P to an alternative electric supplier, high pressure or inappropriate sales tactics, or other complaints to make your voice heard. Here are some ways you can make a difference:
1) Share your story with AARP. We'll use your stories in our advocacy work to help convince state lawmakers that additional consumers protections are needed.
2) Send an email to your Legislators and the Governor asking them to support strong consumer protections for electricity customers.
3) Sign up to become an AARP E-Advocate. You'll receive email Action Alerts and other important information so that you can share your views with lawmakers and make a difference.
4) Become an AARP Advocacy Volunteer. To learn more about volunteer opportunities in Connecticut, call toll-free 1-866-295-7279 or send an email to email@example.com.