- Electric Deregulation
- Shopping for a New Electric Provider
- Changing Electric Providers
- Electricity Provider Switching Process
- Billing and Service
What is supplier choice?
Connecticut electricity bills include two main sections: electricity generation and electricity delivery. Since 2000, the generation portion of your electric bill had been deregulated. This means that you have the opportunity to choose your electricity generation supplier. Electricity delivery charges are the same regardless of which supplier you choose.
Do all Connecticut customers have electric choice?
Supplier choice is only available to customers in the Eversource (formerly CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI) service areas.
What is an electric supplier?
An electric supplier is a company licensed by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to provide electricity generation services to consumers.
What is the role of an electric supplier?
Electric suppliers purchase electricity on the wholesale market and sell it to retail consumers like you. Electric suppliers can also offer value-added services including smart thermostats and renewable energy plans.
What is the role of a utility in electricity delivery?
Utilities are still responsible for reading electric meters, responding to service interruptions, and maintaining the wires and poles to ensure reliable electricity delivery.
Does the reliability of my service depend on which retail electric supplier I choose?
No. Reliable service is the responsibility of the utility. The Connecticut PURA regulates utilities and requires that they provide the same quality of service without consideration of which electric supplier you choose.
Shopping for a New Electric Provider
What is a fixed rate or fixed price plan?
These plans protect you from market price changes during the term of their agreement. The Connecticut PURA requires that fixed price plans have a term of at least four complete billing cycles. Suppliers are also required to notify you about a change in the electric generation rate when a fixed rate plan is ending.
What is renewable or green energy?
Renewable or green energy generation includes wind, solar, biomass, hydro, geothermal, and other environmentally friendly sources. Some electric suppliers offer plans with renewable energy percentages exceeding Connecticut minimum standards. The good news is that choosing green energy is not as expensive as it used to be.
Changing Electric Providers
What information do I need to have available during the enrollment process?
Your utility account number, service address, and other information are typically required to complete the electric supplier enrollment process. Have a copy of a recent utility bill handy when shopping for competitive electric rates.
Will my service be interrupted by switching electric suppliers?
No. Switching suppliers does not interrupt your service. You will keep your same meter and receive the same electricity delivery service from your utility without any gaps or interruptions.
Can I change my mind after enrolling with a new provider?
As a residential customer, you can cancel your enrollment within three business days without penalty. The Connecticut PURA has provisions for customers desiring to return to the utility standard service rate. You should consult your electric supplier’s terms of service or plan description for information on whether a cancellation fee will apply.
Electricity Provider Switching Process
How soon will I be switched to my new electricity provider?
After enrolling with your new electric supplier, your electricity generation rate starts on your next meter reading date. Information about your meter reading date is shown on your electric utility bill.
Do I need to notify my current electric supplier or utility that I am switching service?
No. They will be notified electronically once a switch request is received from your new electric supplier. You may incur a cancellation fee if you end your agreement with your current electric supplier before the end of the contract term. Residential cancellation fees are limited to a maximum of $50.
Billing and Service
Who sends my electric bill?
Eversource or UI will send you the electric bill regardless of which electric supplier you choose. The only difference is that the electricity generation rate on the bill will reflect the rate charged by the electric supplier instead of the Eversource or UI standard service rate.
Where do I direct my billing questions?
Your first contact for billing questions should be with the utility as they serve as the billing agent. If your question is on the electric generation portion of the bill, some electric suppliers encourage you to call them directly. If a billing or service dispute cannot be resolved, you can contact the PURA’s Consumer Affairs Unit at 800-382-4586.
What happens if I have an electrical outage or an electrical emergency?
You should call your utility (Eversource or UI) to report outages or electrical emergencies such as downed power lines. Check your billing statement for the phone number.
What is a kilowatt-hour or kWh?
This is the billing unit for energy consumption. It represents 1000 watts used for a period of one hour.
What is the generation charge?
This is the charge from your electric supplier for the electricity you used during the billing cycle in accordance with the terms of the plan in which you enrolled.
What if I cannot pay my electric bill or if I need additional time to pay my bill?
Contact your utility and advise them of your situation. You may be able to work out a payment plan or an extension with them.
What happens if I stay with my current electricity provider past my contract end date?
Consult the terms of service or plan documents provided by your electric supplier. There are options for remaining with the electric supplier on a new fixed price plan or switching back to utility standard service.
How do I find out when my current electric service agreement ends?
You can contact your electric supplier to verify the date your plan ends. Electric suppliers are also required to notify you about a change in the generation rate when the end of the plan term is approaching.