Weather Alert

Moderate to Heavy Snow @ Times to Continue Through the Evening

Narrow bands of moderate to heavy snow continue to evolve across the region in response to the storm developing to our south.  Expect periods of 1" to occasionally 2" per hour snowfall rates through 8-10pm with snowfall becoming lighter and more intermittent through the pre-dawn hours on Thursday. Poor to difficult travel conditions in low visibility and snow packed roads will persist well into the night.  Click Here for the CBS6 Weather Forecast Page

WEATHER ALERT


Weather Alert Radar

The Real Deal

The Real Deal

 
text size

The Real Deal: Are ESCOs Cheaper?

Updated: Thursday, April 10 2014, 02:52 PM EDT

ALBANY - As the temperature drops, most of us will be looking for ways to save on our energy bill.  Energy Service Companies (ESCOS) throw all kinds of offers out there in an effort to get us to switch from National Grid or NYSEG but the Public Service Commission says it can be very difficult to know whether you're actually saving if and when you switch.


Chances are you've come across an ESCO on more than one occasion. "I've gotten a few letters in the mail just asking me to switch, I never really have ever considered it," says Cori Cox of Albany.  Often, the companies claim they can save you big bucks when it comes to heating your home but Cox isn't convinced, "if I knew more people that actually switched over, I may consider it if it did save money in the long run but I'm kinda wary if it actually would save money," she says. 


There are now 85 ESCOS that sell electricity in New York and 100 that sell natural gas.  Many of the ESCO's come door-to-door offering not only discounts but airline miles and other free stuff to those who will switch and so far, about 20% of
New Yorkers have but a recent study by the Public Service Commission shows it's hard for those customers to determine whether they're actually seeing any savings after the promotional period is over. 


"We have seen some instances where some customers are paying less than what the utility offers, some customers are paying a little bit more than what the utility offers and some customers are paying much more and that's what the problem is," says James Denn of the New York State Public Service Commission. 


Some folks choose to pay more to get their energy from an ESCO that uses renewable sources and that's fine but if customers are expecting a discount that they've been promised and aren't receiving, that's a different matter. 


If you have your old National Grid bills and can compare them to your new ESCO bills, that's a good start but it doesn't give you a totally true picture.  "You should be able to compare but often times people are busy, they don't have time or they haven't kept the historical bills to enable them to make these determinations," says Denn. 


That's why the PSC is now looking for public comment on how to make ESCO pricing more transparent. The PSC has just started working with two ESCOS, Central Hudson and National Fuel Gas, to design and implement a pilot program where customers use an on-line tool to compare the amount they paid for ESCO service and the amount they would have paid if the energy had been purchased from the utility.   In addition, all ESCOS are required to provide pricing information to the PSC every 30 days.  The PSC then makes that information available to consumers at the following website: http://www.newyorkpowertochoose.com/.


 

The Real Deal: Are ESCOs Cheaper?


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

Hello and thank you for stopping by The Real Deal web-page! I'm hoping you'll find some useful information here. I (Jennifer Lewke) will be updating this page daily to bring you the latest news on anything and everything that may impact your wallet. Whether it's a bad business trying to rip you off, a contractor who took your money and ran, the government wasting your tax dollars, or a telemarketer who just won't stop calling, my goal is to uncover it and hopefully prevent it from happening again!

On the right-hand side of this page, you'll see a section labled "Links" --these will all take you to websites for organizations that help protect consumers. Most of the groups have the authority to fine or shut down bad businesses so it's important to file the proper complaints to get some action.

I'm happy to look into any issue you have to get you the Real Deal. You can reach me anytime at (518) 381-4992 or by email at jlewke@wrgb.com. I hope to hear from you soon!

Top Stories

 
Advertise with us!

Links

  • New York State Attorney General's Office
    Consumer complaints against a business or service in New York state


  • Federal Trade Commission
    Consumer complaints against a nation-wide company


  • New York Public Service Commission
    Consumer complaints about utility companies


  • Consumer Finanical Protection Bureau
    Consumer complaints about a bank, credit card company, or loan company


  • New York State Division of Consumer Protection
    Identity theft and scam protection


  • Phishing Scams
    How to protect yourself from phishing scams


  • Free Credit Reports
    Everyone is entitled to one free copy of a credit report from each of the three credit reporting bureaus once a year


  • Unsolicited Emails
    To check out unsolicited emails


  • Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York
    Free legal advice