By Lon Seidman
Retail electricity suppliers aggressively market low fixed rates to Connecticut residents, but many consumers are finding those initial savings give way to expensive variable rates that have more than doubled their bills.
John Erlingheuser of the Connecticut AARP says that seniors in particular are being targeted by telephone, direct mail, and even door-to-door pitches from marketing companies hired by retail electricity firms.
He says the marketing activity has become more aggressive now that the “standard offer” rate negotiated by the state is more competitive with what many of these retail suppliers offer. Some companies are offering gimmicks like restaurant points and cash rebates to lure customers into fixed length contracts that come with early termination penalties. And for some there may never be any real savings.
“The market is not good enough for anyone with a small amount of usage,” Erlingheuser said.