Two bills sponsored by Senator Robert Singer to increase consumer protections for customers of third-party energy suppliers were passed today by the full Senate.
Sen. Robert Singer’s legislation, S-2466 and S-2468, increases consumer protections for customers of third-party energy suppliers. (Flickr)
“The deregulated energy market has brought with it a host of third-party energy suppliers and the opportunity for consumers to shop for providers offering lower rates,” said Singer (R-Monmouth, Ocean). “However, a lack of transparency and oversight has led to confusion and misleading contracts that have left too many customers who switched to third-party suppliers in hopes of lowering costs with astronomical gas or electric bills due to variable-rate plans and changing energy costs. These bills ensure a greater level of transparency and establishes clear standards to better protect consumers in the third-party energy supplier marketplace.”
The first bill in the package, S-2466, allows consumers to compare gas and electric prices by requiring the Board of Public Utilities to put information on third-party electric power and gas supplier pricing and services on its website.
The second bill, S-2468, requires the BPU to establish contract standards between customer and third-party electric and gas suppliers, including requirements that the contract detail in plain language whether it is for a fixed rate or a variable rate and provide a brief explanation of the difference between a fixed rate and a variable rate that is easily understandable by the general public.
“These are sensible standards that will help customers be better informed about their options in choosing an energy supplier, as well as the contract they are entering into,” said Singer. “Increasing trust in the third-party marketplace is a benefit to everyone involved.”