Variable Electric Rates Banned

June 2, 2015

I am please to see the General Assembly’s passage of SB 573, a ban on variable rate electricity contracts for residential electric generation service – a first in the nation change.

Oftentimes, cheaper, unpredictable “teaser” electric rates have lured customers into short-term contract rates that balloon shortly thereafter. According to Rep. Porter, these teasers are often attractive to citizens living on a fixed income who buy into contracts and find the rates increase over time.

This is a pro-consumer and pro-business bill. By banning the marketing practices of offering low introductory rates, we are not only protecting customers, we are also protecting the industry’s reputation and ability to conduct business credibly.

Last year, the General Assembly passed Public Act 14-75, which enacted several reforms for the protection of electric consumers. One of the measures was a requirement that beginning in July, every residential electric customer’s monthly bill must display their rate for the coming month. Since then, there has been a reduction in complaints as customers better understand their bills and options.

The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Once signed, the changes will go into effect on October 1, 2015.