AG Healey Report: Massachusetts Residents Who Switched to Competitive Electric Supply Continue to Lose Millions Each Year
Press Release 8/1/19 Office of Attorney General Maura Healey
BOSTON— A report released today by Attorney General Maura Healey shows that even while rapid growth of municipal aggregation programs continues to improve choices for electric customers, Massachusetts residents who contract individually with competitive electric suppliers continue to lose millions of dollars per year. With the release of today’s report, AG Healey is renewing her call to stop these companies from making direct solicitations to residential customers.
The AG’s new report, which expands upon her office’s original report on the industry from March 2018, found that Massachusetts electric customers who switched to a competitive electric supplier paid $76.2 million more than if they remained with their existing service during the one-year period from July 2017 to June 2018. This new data brings the total net losses to $253 million for Massachusetts customers over the course of three years (July 2015 – June 2018). The AG’s report also showed that low-income residents and communities of color are disproportionately impacted.
“Our concern remains that too many customers are being falsely promised big savings on their electricity bills and then overcharged month after month,” AG Healey said. “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.”
Today’s report also shows that of the 500,000 residents in the state that receive their electricity directly from a competitive supplier, low-income minority residents living in many of the state’s gateway cities including Boston, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Quincy, Springfield, and Worcester are continuing to be hit particularly hard by these 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 new report found that low-income households lost an average of $166 in the one-year period from 2017–2018.
Read the full press release by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey