Q: Who is Floridians for Affordable Reliable Energy (FARE)?
A: FARE is a group of citizens who oppose energy deregulation in Florida because it would lead to higher utility costs, less government utility oversight, and more utility deception and fraud by so-called “energy choice” suppliers.
Q: What is the definition of energy deregulation?
A: Energy deregulation removes rules and regulations that safeguard consumers from volatile utility prices, deceptive marketing practices, and fraudulent activities by so-called “energy choice” suppliers.
Q: What’s the difference between a state with regulated utilities and a state with deregulated utilities?
A: A state with regulated utilities ensures consumers receive their utility services safely and reliably through state rate-base regulation and competitive market oversight.
A state with deregulated utilities allows for energy prices to be set by the market with some federal oversight of wholesale market operations
Q: When did energy deregulation first occur?
A: In the 1990s, conventional wisdom was to allow so-called “energy choice” suppliers to compete for customers to lower utility prices but after the Enron scandal, the push to deregulate utilities nationwide subsided. Although a handful of states deregulated their utilities, many of them are finding out that these third-party electric (“energy choice”) suppliers cost consumers more money and led to deceptive marketing and fraudulent activities.
Q: Why do retail “energy choice” suppliers in deregulated states use door-to-door sales tactics?
A: In the so-called “energy choice” market, door-to-door sales tactics are generally the go-to method for switching unsuspecting energy consumers to their respective utility rate plans – usually with introductory teaser rates that skyrocket after a few months.
Q: Why do utility prices for retail “energy choice” suppliers in deregulated states fluctuate so much?
A: In the energy deregulation market, retail “energy choice” suppliers compete for customers by buying (or bidding on) electricity on the wholesale market, then re-selling it to customers. The price on the wholesale market fluctuates based on market forces (i.e., generation capacity, energy prices, supply/demand, etc.) like in Texas here, here, and here. Deregulation inserts a “middle man” between the producer of energy and the customer, causing prices to rise and adding volatility.
Q: Why are Attorneys General in many states suing so-called “energy choice” suppliers in their respective deregulated states?
A: In short, misleading marketing practices, overcharging utility customers (especially senior citizens & low-income residents), and deceptive door-to-door sales tactics as highlighted in news stories here, here, here, here, here, and here.
Q: Why do energy consumers in deregulated states file so many complaints against so-called “energy choice” suppliers?
A: Because so-called “energy choice” suppliers target vulnerable citizens (senior citizens & low-income residents) with misleading marketing materials, introductory teaser rates which result in higher utility bills, and deceptive door-to-door sales tactics as highlighted in news stories here, here, here, here, here, and here.