Energy: More in State Switching to Save
From labor union members to nonprofit and corporate employees and businesses large and small, a growing number of Connecticut consumers are saving money on energy by choosing a competitive supplier for their electricity.
They’re doing that because the legislature gave Connecticut consumers the power to shop from whom they actually buy their electricity–and potentially save about 5% to 20% on the generation portion of their monthly electricity bills.
At the end of November, 2009, about 55% of Connecticut’s entire electric load—with more than 192,000 residential customers and 76,000 small and large businesses—was participating in the competitive marketplace for electricity generation, according to the state Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC).
Electric rates in Connecticut were among the highest in the country before the state deregulated its energy market. Since then electric rates have continued to be very expensive because the cost of fuel has skyrocketed over the last 10 years. But the competitive marketplace has acted as a buffer on higher costs by allowing consumers the flexibility to shop different suppliers for their electric rates.
Businesses saw the advantages of the competitive market right away by being able to stabilize the volatility and cost of their rates and many jumped at the chance to choose a competitive supplier. Now, electricity suppliers are stepping up their marketing to Connecticut’s consumers so everyone can benefit, too.
For example, CSEA/SEIU Local 2000 members are being encouraged to choose a competitive supplier through the Citizen’s Oil Co-Op. where “the rate is guaranteed to be 5% to 20% lower” than the state’s largest utilities.
Giving consumers more control over their electric bill is a major step forward. Electric choice combined with energy efficiency programs and clean-energy initiatives help consumers control their energy use. In turn, this helps cut costs. Even with these advances, however, some in the current state legislature want to roll back the competitive market in Connecticut. Legislation is expected within the week that could include efforts to move back to regulated, state-controlled energy structure.
That’s not very easily done, and consumers who are saving money on their electricity bills likely would not appreciate the effort to move backward.
Instead, CBIA encourages lawmakers to help all their constituents learn more about how to save money on their energy bills by using their power to choose an electric supplier.
There is lots of information at www.ctenergyinfo.com.
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