Consumers are being warned about solicitors pitching electricity-rate deals. Door-to-door and phone offers promising to save money on power-supply costs can be misleading and wind up costing customers more. That’s the warning from the Citizens Utility Board.
The Illinois utility watchdog group (CUB), is seeking reforms to help customers make better deals in an electricity supply market that opened up competition in Illinois eight years ago.
The group emphasized it's targeting bad deals that are peddled door-to-door and through email and telemarketing, rather than municipal aggregation deals negotiated by communities on behalf of their residents and businesses that generally come with consumer protections.
In some cases, misleading offers wind up costing customers double to triple the supply rates offered by their local regulated utilities, according to the CUB.
Customers of alternative electric suppliers lost a record $198 million from June 2016 through May 2017, even more than the $125.8 million they lost the previous year, the group said.
The CUB is calling on state lawmakers to launch three reforms, one of which would ban automatic renewal of power supply contracts that are sometimes subject to renewals at significantly higher rates.