Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General

Energy Company Will Pay $800K After Falsely Promising NYers Cheaper Utility Bills

August 31, 2017

As published by Gothamist, on August 30, 2017.

Many New Yorkers who attempted to lower their utility bills only to get scammed by a deceptive energy service company are now eligible for some settlement money. Also, it’s been a crisp 68 degrees most nights this week, so it’s probably safe to take your air conditioner out of the window—double-savings!

On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced an $800,000 settlement with Energy Plus after an investigation found the company tricked customers through false marketing practices, and lied about how easy it was to cancel the service. As far back as 2011, enrollees were accusing the company of fraud, and complaining of “inflated energy rates.”

“Thousands of New Yorkers were lured by Energy Plus’s false promises of savings, only to be stuck with more expensive energy bills,” Schneiderman said. “Energy service companies should be put on notice: we won’t allow them to exploit New Yorkers looking to save on their energy bills.”

The settlement is part of a larger investigation into energy service companies (ESCOs), or companies that purchase energy on the open market and sell it back to consumers. So far, that investigation has netted $5 million for victims of bogus utility bills, most of it from Columbia Utilities Power and HIKI Energy.

There’s also this guy, who saw his bill increase by 771% in one month, after switching to a Kiwi Energy’s promise of renewable energy credits.

The latest settlement is available to those who bought electricity or natural gas from Energy Plus after October 15th, 2012. Find out if you’re eligible for that sweet, sweet restitution cash here, and those considering switching to an ESCO should head over to the New York State Public Service Commission’s website.