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Can ESCOs save you money vs. National Grid? The Real Deal

New York has about 50 energy service companies or ESCOs operating in the state and many of us have heard their pitches to save us money on our electric or gas bill, but you may want to think twice about their claims.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- New York has about 50 energy service companies or ESCOs operating in the state and many of us have heard their pitches to save us money on our electric or gas bill, but you may want to think twice about their claims.

The ideas was to open up the market, deregulate it, and allow other companies to sell you electricity and gas so you could lower your bill, but an analysis presented to the Public Service Commission shows not only have ESCOs not provided bill reductions, in many cases they’ve done the opposite by raising your bill.

For the past two years, 84 percent of those choosing an ESCO for electric have ended up paying an average of $20.79 a month more than what National Grid would have charged. They’re people who do benefit from the energy savings companies and about 16 percent saw a $2.09 savings by getting their electric from ESCO, as compared to the utility.

Gas prices tell a very similar story. 92 percent of ESCO customers paid on average $10.85 more for gas than they would have if they went with National Grid. On the other hand, there is a $2.51 savings for the approximately 9,000 people in the state – 8 percent of ESCO customers – who get their gas cheaper than with National Grid.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering a recommendation to force National Grid to provide residential ESCO customers with the comparison, on monthly consolidated bills, through a web-based calculator and on printed notices of termination.

There has been no decision made on any of this. The PSC is considering what action, if any, to take. Two administrative judges have ruled, against ESCO wishes to make this information public at National Grid’s request.
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