Energy shopping should be easier, NJ lawmaker says
Energy deregulation in New Jersey was designed to give consumers more choice and save them money, but a lot of Garden State residents have no idea how to figure out which third party energy supplier they should choose.
One New Jersey lawmaker is pushing a plan to simplify things, and clear up the confusion.
"My legislation would require the BPU (Board of Public Utilities) to provide information about third party electric and gas suppliers, their pricing and their services, and to put this kind of information out there so people can understand it - put it on their website, so they can almost use it as a comparison, to see who is charging what," said Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton).
Another companion bill would set standards for contracts, so they would be more consumer friendly.
DeAngelo said a third bill would ensure that consumers have a 30-day window to request a return to one of the basic energy generation suppliers.
He pointed out sometimes consumers don't understand they're getting a variable rate with these suppliers, which means the rate is subject to change.
"We want to make sure that those consumers who are going into the energy market aren't being bamboozled into something they think they're getting but they're not," DeAngelo said.
Down the road, DeAngelo would like to provide even more information.
"My real goal is to see if I can move this forward and get it to where we see how many people are happy with the energy supplier they switch to. Almost like a rating - how many people have moved in and out of this one provider. That would be useful to others." DeAngelo said.
He expects the legislation to be passed soon, and believes the enhanced BPU website could be completed later this year.