Residents hoodwinked into paying more for electricity

AVON, Conn. (WTNH)– Thousands of Connecticut residents have gone through the process of switching to one of the more than thirty competitive electricity suppliers, only to find that they end up paying more.

If you’ve been hoodwinked into paying more for electricity, you are not alone.

73-year-old Wil Gauster is one of the majority of electric customers who have switched their electricity supplier supposedly to get a better rate and ended up paying much more than if they had never switched at all.

Wil and his wife Norma moved here from New Mexico eight years ago to be closer to their sons.

Here’s the kicker, Wil is a retired physicist who at one time worked on nuclear space propulsion. That’s right he was rocket scientist but even he couldn’t keep from being hoodwinked by one of these electric suppliers.

“In spite of my fairly extensive scientific background, I had a hard time really dealing with this system of electric utilities,” said Gauster.

He had signed up for a lower fixed rate for a year, forgot to renew it at the end of that year and his rate immediately skyrocketed.

“Before I could go back to the fixed rate, the higher rates for two months, obviated all the saving that I’d had the previous year,” said Gauster.

Wil, along with local volunteers from the AARP, came to the Capitol Monday to urge state lawmakers to force state regulators to form an investigative unit to look into these suppliers and to require easy to understand contract language because older residents, especially are crying out for help.

“They’ve been bombarded with aggressive tactics and that a large number of them have been bamboozled and a large number of people have decided to just go back to the standard rate,” said John Erlingheuser/Associate State Director, AARP CT.

So the bottom line of your story is; even if you have a background in rocket science you can be confused by this.

“Yes, at least I was,” said said Guaster.

News 8 has learned that Governor Malloy has also been hearing these complaints and is expected to propose a plan to deal with this sometime later this week.

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