The Star-Herald

New electricity shopping sites mislead customers, watchdog warns

In a private electricity industry that’s bilked at least $77 million from Maine residential customers, new entrants are trying to sell on something lacking: trust.

A series of websites and services are cropping up to help customers navigate the electricity market, providing price listings from different companies in one place. But the top consumer watchdog in Connecticut — a more mature market for home electricity sales — is skeptical the sites have shoppers’ best interests in mind.

The sites have problems, said Connecticut Consumer Counsel Elin Katz, ranging from misleading to possibly fraudulent claims. A Bangor Daily News review found the customer-facing sites provide incomplete price listings and questionable business ratings.

The new marketplaces tout their independence as impartial clearinghouses for the best prices, but they can be limited by their own relationships with electricity suppliers. One newcomer that runs a website geared toward business customers, for example, is owned by an energy conglomerate that operates a 543-megawatt gas generation plant in Veazie.

To read the rest of “New electricity shopping sites mislead customers, watchdog warns,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Darren Fishell, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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