May 6, 2014

CT House approves electricity supplier reforms

The state House of Representatives voted unanimously Monday to approve a new set of regulations for third-party electricity suppliers.

The Senate approved the bill last week, also in a unanimous vote. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy supports the measure.

The legislation takes aim at the dozens of competitive electricity suppliers that have set up shop in Connecticut since deregulation in 1998. Approximately 50 are doing business currently.

A series of consumer complaints about spiking variable rates and marketing tactics spurred both the legislature and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to act.

The bill will require PURA to redesign the required format of electricity bills to better disclose rates and terms and conditions. Suppliers will also be prohibited from raising rates for the first three billing cycles of any new customer contract created on or after July 1.

They will also have to notify customers in advance of certain rate changes, and will no longer be allowed to charge cancellation or early termination fees to residents who move within the state and don't change suppliers. The bill also lowers the cap on those fees.

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