If you have questions or need help with Choosing an Electric Supplier you can speak to an energy professional at Connecticut’s Energy Information Line at (877) WISE‑USE (877-947-3873). You can also call the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority's Consumer Service Unit at (800) 382-4586. It is important to know that regardless of the electric supplier you choose, CL&P or UI will deliver your electricity, bill you for service, and respond to power outages. Only CL&P or UI can terminate your service.
What is Supplier Choice?
Your electric bill is divided into two major sections: delivery and supply (or generation). Since 2000 the supply portion of your bill has been deregulated, meaning that independent companies, known as “electric suppliers,” can compete to sell or supply you electricity. As a Connecticut electric customer you have the option to select an electric supplier if you want, or use standard service. The delivery portion of your bill remains fully regulated with either option.
Take your time when reviewing available offers.
By shopping for competing suppliers, you may be able to save money and/or find suppliers that use clean, renewable energy resources. As you shop for electric suppliers think about what is most important to you. Read offers carefully and ask questions before enrolling. Like any offer, you should be sure you know and like the terms before signing up. Remember, remaining with standard service could be the best option for you.
Consider asking suppliers the following questions:
- Is the energy price fixed or can it fluctuate month-to-month?
- What is the length of the contract? Is there an early termination fee or a switching fee if I switch to another supplier before the contract period ends?
- What are my monthly savings if I switch?
- Will the contract automatically renew at the end of the term? How much notice must I give if I don't wish to renew?
- How is the electricity generated – coal, gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, etc.? What percentage of the fuel source is renewable? Where does the renewable portion come from?
- Is a security deposit, enrollment, or other similar fee required?
- Is there a credit check, late payment fee, or other similar fee assessed? (If yes, be sure to get a list of the charges and what each charge will cost.)
- Do you offer any other services? (Some examples include energy assessments, conservation services, load management, or other energy-related services.)
Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing A Supplier
Why should I choose an electric supplier?
Most people choose an electric supplier to lower their electricity costs. Some business customers choose an electric supplier for the added services that certain suppliers offer such as energy management services or conservation/energy efficiency services.
How long does it take to switch my electric supplier?
It takes one billing cycle to implement the switch. (So the switch does not happen immediately.) For more detailed information, please contact the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority's Consumer Service Unit at 800-382-4586, the electric supplier, or your utility.
Is CL&P or UI my electric supplier?
CL&P and UI must provide electricity to customers who do not choose another electric supplier. Therefore, CL&P and UI are the default providers of electric generation services.
If I choose to switch suppliers, what happens after I switch?
After you switch electric suppliers, CL&P or UI will continue to deliver the electricity you use and bill you on behalf of the electric supplier you have selected. The only difference is that the Generation Service Charge (GSC) rate on your bill will be the rate offered by your chosen electric supplier. So you still receive one electric bill – the only difference will be the lower cost.
How do I return to CL&P or UI Standard Service?
Customers who wish to return to the Standard Service must contact CL&P or UI by phone. CL&P and UI are required to switch residential and small business customers back to the Standard Service rate within two business days of the request and will prorate your bill accordingly. Be sure to check with your supplier regarding cancellation fees that may apply.
Click here for more information from CL&P or speak to a representative at 800-286-2000 or local (Hartford/Meriden) at 860-947-2000. You can also ask to be returned to standard service through CL&P's Contact Us form.
Click here for more information from UI or speak to a representative at 800-722-5584.
Do CL&P or UI own electric generating plants?
No. CL&P and UI no longer own power plants or produce electricity. Instead, they buy electricity from wholesale suppliers for delivery to any of their customers that have not chosen an electric supplier.
Will CL&P or UI be upset if I choose an electric supplier?
No. CL&P and UI encourage their customers to choose an electric supplier to help customers lower energy costs.
Do CL&P or UI earn a profit by proving my generation services?
No. CL&P and UI buy electricity from wholesale suppliers for delivery to their customers. All customers pay what CL&P and UI pay to purchase this electricity - no more or no less. CL&P and UI do not profit from the electricity they deliver to you; they just pass through the cost.
Can an electric supplier shut off my electricity?
No. Only CL&P or UI can shut off your electric service.
Who sends me a bill if I choose licensed supplier service?
CL&P or UI will bill you for the electricity you purchase from an electric supplier. You will continue to receive one electric bill from either CL&P or UI. The only difference is that the Generation Service Charge (GSC) rate on your bill will be the rate offered by your chosen electric supplier.
Do any suppliers offer electricity produced from wind, solar or other clean resources?
Yes, there are many suppliers who offer plans for electricity produced from sources that exceed the Connecticut minimum for the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). Look on the rate board
for offers for renewable content that exceeds the RPS.
What is the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program?
At present, the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program
allows consumers to support the production of clean energy through a small surcharge on their electric bill. The companies that participate in the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program do not sell electricity. Instead, they support the production of clean energy through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits, commonly referred to as RECs.
Can I choose an electric supplier and participate in the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program?
Yes, you can participate in both or choose either of these options separately. It is important to know that the companies offering the CTCleanEnergyOptions Program
are NOT electric suppliers. Instead, they use the surcharge from participating customers to support the production of clean energy throughout the United States.