What you should know before switching your energy supplier
(WFSB) - Many people are looking for ways to save on their energy bill after Eversource raised its rates at the start of the year.
One way to do that is to switch energy suppliers.
It’s pretty simple to do on energizect.com.
Clare Rashkoff took those steps in late December.
“It was very easy. It was very simple,” said Rashkoff.
Rashkoff switched to Think Energy. She got a letter from Think on December 29th saying the plan would start on January 6th.
She was expecting a lower February bill, but when her bill arrived it was 19% more than this time last year.
Her supplier was still Eversource.
“It’s simply a clerical change, so why the delay? That seems a little suspicious to me,” said Rashkoff.
The I-Team asked Eversource why there seemed to be a delay. An Eversource spokesperson says there is no delay on their end.
The I-Team then reached out to Think Energy. Think has not responded to the I-Team’s calls or emails, so the I-Team did some digging.
Think Energy has an F rating with Better Business Bureau Serving Greater Houston and South Texas, where Think is based.
A BBB spokesperson says it gave the company an F because in the last 3 years there were 28 complaints, and Think failed to respond to 4. No specific complaint pattern was found. There were complaints about topics like billing, contract issues and sales issues.
BBB Serving Connecticut says it’s important to do some research before enrolling in a new energy supplier.
“The cheapest is not always the best,” said Kristen Johnson, spokesperson for BBB Serving Connecticut. “You can see what the customer reviews are for that company, the complaints, not only that but how the company handles those complaints.”
Energizect.com also has information about companies. The website shows Connecticut received 3 complaints about Think Energy last year. The website doesn’t elaborate on what the complaints were about.
“The more I’ve thought about this, the more angry it makes me,” said Rashkoff.
There are state regulations around how long it should take to switch energy suppliers.
The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, or PURA, says suppliers like Think have up to 10 business days to send your request to switch to the utility.
The utility needs to receive the request at least 3 days before your scheduled meter read date for the switch to take effect by your next bill.
In short, it is normal for it to take 1 or 2 billing cycles to see the switch reflected on your bill.
Tuesday March 7, Rashkoff got her March Bill.
Think was now her supplier, and her bill was $30 less than February.
Rashkoff thinks the whole process should be more straightforward.
“I’m lucky in that this isn’t going to break me, the extra charges from Eversource. We’ve all heard about how expensive everything is and really some people I think it could really break their budget. This doesn’t’ seem very reasonable,” said Rashkoff.
If a customer believes that their enrollment is not being processed consistent with state statutes and regulations, Pura says you should first contact your utility with a copy of the supplier enrollment confirmation materials.
If a utility or supplier has violated the timelines outlined in state statute and regulations, customers may contact PURA in writing at PURA.Information@ct.gov or by phone Monday-Friday, between 8:30-4:30, at 1-800-382-4586.
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