A Question Of Energy

An alert — and suspicious — “06880” reader writes:

I received a $100 gift card offer from Constellation Energy for a transfer from Eversource. Yet they say Eversource will still provide service and billing.

Sounds like a no-lose deal — but I know there’s no such thing. I wonder if I’m missing something.

Do any savvy Westporters have a take on this?

18 responses to “A Question Of Energy

  1. Arline Gertzoff

    You are Don’t do it ?I tried it two years ago and then they jacked up their rates and wanted me to pay a cancellation fee when I went back to Eversource. More trouble than it is worth

  2. Since power was disaggregated a number of years ago, you now have two providers – one for generation, one for delivery. Eversource controls delivery and servicing, but your generation can come from anywhere, including constellation. You can switch generation providers every few months, if you want.

  3. This is totally legit. As a homeowner you should be shopping for your energy supplier as you have choices. Go to energizer.com and you will see all the rates being offered. Most lock you in for 6-9 months which is fine if you shopped the rate. After the expiration you need to shop it again. This particular company gave you an extra incentive with a GC. Have fun using it. I make a living saving people money and everyone should be checking the rate they pay for their energy supplier.

  4. If you go to the website EnergizeCT, you’ll be able to find all “offers” on electricity in Connecticut and compare them with the Eversource price. Some “plans” have cancellation fees, some have initiation fees, some are for a limited period of time then increase in price. There is no limit on the number of times you can switch providers so if, say, you find a low rate for 4 months with no cancellation fee after that period of time, you can sign up for it quite easily online, then in 3 months, look for a new rate. It’s a pain in the neck to do this but the new Eversource rate for the first half of this year is quite high. Just keep track of what the plan you select offers/when it expires so you can make another switch.

  5. This is a marketing tactic be careful. “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is”. read the fine print and make sure you understand what the deal expects of you, NO one gives money away without expecting something in return. I tried one of the other energy companies a few years back and learned they get more out of you then they give away to you. The only exception I can even imagine (and it would be remote) is they need more clients to meet some requirement they are not telling you about and its worth it to them for some specific reasons they are not sharing. It’s not because they like you LOL.
    BTW this applies to ALL unasked solicitations corporations. They hire agencies for millions of dollars to scheme for your business i.e. TV , telephone, internet, etc.
    I’m not cynical just realistic after spending 30 years in Marketing & Advertising. Now go sign up for that $5,000 a month for life “free” entry.LOL

  6. This offer is legit and I have used such offers many times. However, there are other options through different providers and ways to check. Eversource will even give you names of providers to compare electric rates, if you don’t check online.

    Also … Do not ever use Public Power. They will raise your rate at the end of your agreement and not tell you. Then, when you complain to them, as I did quite seriously, they will tell you that they will send you a check for the difference of the overcharge (you’ve paid it already) with a lesser rate that you might not have agreed to, not refund it immediately to your credit card. I filed complaints with PURA (Public Utilities Regulation Authority) and the Attorney General. Public Power then said they would send me a check within 8 weeks. They cannot be trusted. I finally got the check, but you NEVER want to do business with Public Power.

  7. Susan Iseman

    Two friends of mine have been working for Eversource for 20+ years. They don’t get any type of discount, but do not use other plans. They assert that utility rates fluctuate as often as the stock market and unless you are willing to keep track of this activity, as well as monitor accompanying fees as mentioned by others here you should proceed with caution.

  8. Michael Calise

    The deregulation should have had the effect of lowering rates by all providers including Eversource. Shopping for rates is time consuming and tedious unless you are a heavy user and the savings outweigh the time investment. all providers other than Eversource are unregulated as to price and you can get really slammed when your initial contract runs out. I frequently discover that clients have overlooked a contract termination and are paying way over market. Unless you have a coupon clipper mentality Eversource is a much safer bet.

  9. Ernie Lorimer

    Looks like 3 years with an average cost of $3/month more than the standard Eversource offer, plus a $50 cancellation fee. Meh..

  10. As Deb noted, here is the direct link for comparing: https://www.energizect.com/compare-energy-suppliers
    Most of the suppliers do not send notification of the end of your plan. I setup a reminder about two months before to check. I just checked my own and Public Power is offering 33 months at 6.99¢ a kWh. No cancellation or enrollment fees, but you have to roll over “Other info” to see they automatically add $14.95 “capacity fee.” and not to exceed 30,000 kWh. It’s still not a bad rate for 33 months, but it also has a “bait ‘n’ switch” feel to it. The site said I save $22.97, but subtract that fee and it $8.02 in savings (from Eversource/CL&P?NU.) They own multiple suppliers and just have a different name on them . FYI the CEO Michael Fallquist lives in Westport down by the beach.

  11. Crius Energy (Norwalk) is Public Power’s corporate parent. Their other companies: Viridian Energy, Public Power, FairPoint Energy, Cincinnati Bell Energy, and FTR Energy Services.

  12. Mark Mathias

    Try https://www.myutiliz.com/. It’s a Connecticut based company that monitors electricity generation rates from various providers and automatically switches you from one electricity provider to another to deliver the best rate without you having to do anything other than sign up. I think the service costs about $2 per month, but the company regularly sends me an email saying how much they save me every quarter or so. Typically, I save close to $200 per year without doing anything. I recently received a $100 VISA gift card from an electrical generation company to whom Utiliz had switched me on my behalf.

    For me, this is the ideal way to manage electricity rates. Utiliz monitors the rates, switches you automatically to the best provider for you, saves you money and reports to you how much money you’ve saved by using them.

    I’ve used them for about 2 years without a hitch.

    I’m not an investor nor did they pay me to post this message. Just a very happy customer of theirs.

  13. Stacy Prince

    I switch suppliers maybe three times every two years, depending on the rates. I usually beat Eversource on an annual basis, but it can be difficult to plan, as Eversource won’t tell you their rates ahead of time. Also, beware of Community Energy, if it appears as a secondary supplier on your bill. It’s a “pro-green” add-on that you may have signed up for at one point, but which, I found out the hard way, doesn’t automatically come off your bill if you switch away from Eversource. (Community is also a for-profit company, so you’re essentially taxing yourself to help someone else make money.)

    • Irene Mastriacovo

      I switched. I received the $100 VISA Card for any online purchase. Will let you know if I run into any problems.

  14. I’ve saved a fair amount by not using Eversource. The key is to keep track of your end date and switch again before that happens. You should only sign up for plans that have neither enrollment nor cancellation fees. This gives you ultimate flexibility based on rate fluctuation. You can switch as often as you like. Avoid rates or promotions that have exceptions and fixed fees. It’s your job to monitor when your rate expires. If you don’t, your rate will go up alot. For those people who complain that they weren’t notified of the inpending increase, it’s your own fault. Why should the provider grant you an exception? If you forget to pay your taxes on time, does the government forgive you? Just stay on top of this and you will save money. It’s like getting a free lunch.

  15. Bill Kinneary

    I’m in the retail energy business so I look closely at all offers. Constellation is a good company who will deliver what they say. My concern here is that the price they are offering is 1% less than Eversource’s current price. Eversource’s price will change on July 1st for 6 months. The price they offer for July through December has been lower than their January through June price in most instances for a number of recent years. That trend would indicate that their June price will likely be lower than Constellation’s offer. Personally, I expect that. Add in the $100 gift card offer and maybe what you pay for their nine month offer will have savings if you use the gift card in 3 months (read the fine print). Regardless, we will all be better off if utilities like Eversource stick to their monopoly functions and get out of business of selling the electricity commodity (I could write a book on this subject). Texas utilities did that years ago and customers down there are paying about half of what we are paying here in Connecticut. We should support companies like Constellation and promote the competitive energy marketplace. Maybe someday we will pay a lot less too.