Read the fine print before switching electric companies

Frustrated electric customers are tempted to switch companies to pay lower rates.

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some Eversource Energy and National Grid electric customers are feeling helpless as they notice higher rates on their bills.

“There’s nothing you can do,” said Chris Foley, who is frustrated with higher electric prices. “You can’t write to your congressman, you can’t talk to the mayor, you can’t do anything,” he added.

There is an alternative: competitive electric suppliers. Companies are knocking on doors and sending out these advertisements, offering lower electric rates if you sign a contract with them. They advertise offering the electric commodity itself at a lower rate, but you’ll still have to pay Eversource or National Grid for the transmission, transportation and other services.

Eversource Energy, formerly Western Massachusetts Electric Company, offers on their website a list of competitive suppliers and brokers. 22News called one of those brokers on the list, Absolute Energy Services in East Longmeadow. Principal Patricia Ahern said you should be cautious of people who go to door to door or send these types of pamphlets in the mail offering lower rates.

“In the long run, it may say that this contract auto-renews at a such and such of a price, which could be a very high price. And those are kind of the bad side,” said Ahern. She advises customers to read the fine print, and do your research, before signing a contract.

Yesenia Almonte said someone representing a competitive supplier knocked on her door offering a lower rate. She signed the contract, but was told she’d pay a fee if she broke the 12-month contract with her new supplier. “It would be just about 100 dollars like if you move I believe so or if you end a contract, but I guess it’s not as bad as paying a whole bunch for a light bill,” Almonte, of Springfield, told 22News.

Also, remember that Eversource will recalculate their rates in June. Those rates could go higher, but they could also go lower.

Here is an explanation of your utility bill.

Click here for more information on Competitive Suppliers.

Eversource lists all their competitive suppliers and brokers here.

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