AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB)–The New York State Public Service Commission has issued new regulations that could help lower utility bills, especially for residential customers. The new rules are designed to help consumers choose the best Energy Services Company, or ESCO, to fit their needs.
The state put out the welcome mat to energy choice more than 20 years ago, but figures show only 10 to 15% of residential customers are taking advantage of the chance to lower their gas and light bills.
By law, utility customers can choose their energy supplier, whether it is for natural gas or electricity, or they can stick with their local utility to supply their commodity, and the new regulations help consumers make the best choice.
Most of New York’s large commercial and industrial customers have made the choice, and they get substantial discounts from ESCO’s. But in some cases residential customers have been subject to scam artists and ESCO’s that actually charged more than the utilities.
Gary Marchiori, president of Amherst-based EnergyMark says the PSC’s new regulations are good for consumers.
“They will have a reliable supply at a guaranteed savings and they can opt for a fixed price during a period of some of the lowest energy prices–both electric and gas–that we have seen this decade.”
Marchiori suggests consumers look for a local ESCO, and one that can guarantee the supply cost will be lower than what the utility is charging.
“Look for someone who is providing a guaranteed savings program, and I would not hesitate to fix prices, for electric or natural gas, as we are near 10 year lows for price.”
The State Department of Public Service offers this interactive guide to help consumers compare the rates of approved ESCOs to their local utility’s supply rates, based on the customer’s zip code.