Proposed new legislation would set new limits on Connecticut's independent electric suppliers, curbing what state officials are calling deceptive practices. The bill was introduced by Governor Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, and Consumer Counsel Elin Katz.
It comes after hundreds of complaints to regulators about soaring electric bills from people who have opted to buy power from independent suppliers.
The rule changes would require electric bills to show if a consumer is paying more than the standard offer price. They would let consumers switch suppliers in two days, and require companies to give notice if they're switching customers to a variable rate.
Elin Katz said that at the moment, some consumers are paying so much that they're having to choose between keeping the lights on and paying their rent. "One reason that we did deregulation of the market in 1998," she said, "was for consumers to have choices. But these weren't the kind of choices that we had in mind. I think this package of reform that we're talking about today will, with the legislature's support, result in real reforms of the market that I think [have] failed, [have] not served consumers -- at least in recent years -- and has not saved them monies."
A report from Katz's office last month calculated that consumers who buy on the deregulated market are currently overpaying for power by almost $14 million a month.
Watch a press conference about the proposed legislation below: