AG Healey continues to put pressure on competitive electric suppliers
By Jessica Trufant August 1, 2019
BOSTON — Quincy residents who have contracted with a competitive supplier are together losing
Attorney General Maura Healey renewed her call for the end of the competitive electricity supply market for residential customers on Thursday, saying that Massachusetts residents who contract individually with such suppliers continue to lose millions of dollars per year.
Healey’s office released a report Thursday showing that residents who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $76.2 million more than if they had stayed with their existing utility company during the one-year period from July 2017 to June 2018.
The report is a follow up to an investigation Healey’s office first launched in 2015. The new data brings the total net losses to $253 million for Massachusetts customers during the three years from July 2015 to June 2018.
About 500,000 residents in the state receive their electricity directly from a competitive supplier, an option created through a 1997 law that deregulated the state’s electricity generation industry.
“Our concern remains that too many customers are being falsely promised big savings on their electricity bills and then overcharged month after month,” Healey said in a statement. “The results of our new report highlight the need for legislation to protect real competition and stop these predatory companies from scamming residents in Massachusetts.”
The report also showed that low-income, minority residents living in the state’s gateway cities, including Quincy, are hit particularly hard by the companies. Low-income households participate in the individual residential electric supply market at twice the rate of non-low-income households, and on average pay rates that are 25 percent higher. The report found that low-income households lost an average of $166 in the one-year period from 2017 to 2018.