The Real Deal: Electric Rates Up
Updated: Wednesday, March 20 2013, 01:56 PM EDT
ALBANY – The supply cost of electricity has doubled compared to this same time last year and chances are you’ve noticed the increase on your energy bill. Because prices are so high, you may be looking to save by switching from National Grid to an Energy Service Company (ESCO) but just because another company promises you big savings doesn’t mean they always deliver.
Carol Ashley and her husband Charlie were at home a while back when they got a call from an ESCO making big promises if they’d make the switch from National Grid, “The rates would be lower and at the end of 12-months I’d get a 15% cash back on whatever I had paid for electric and gas,” she says. The caller made it sound like a great deal, “I've said no to all these other companies who have called asking, they just got me at a weak moment, I think, so I said, sure go ahead and do it,” Ashley adds.
She didn’t give it too much more thought after that since she was busy with the holidays but when she opened her most recent bill, she noticed the price had skyrocketed. She called National Grid and asked what they were charging per therm for natural gas and per kilowatt/hour for electric and found that the ESCO was actually charging her double what the going-rate was at National Grid. She was able to switch back to the utility. “I think a lot of people just don't really pay attention to their bill, it comes, they pay it--oh boy that's a big bill but it's winter time and they pay it,” Ashley tells CBS6.
The NYS Public Service Commission has recently commenced a study to review whether ESCO’s are being upfront and honest with customers about potential savings but in the meantime, www.NewYorkPowerToChoose.com will allow you to verify that an ESCO is legitimate and see how its rates compare to other companies and the utility.