NEW YORK —
“Some (new plans) will be good for some people and some will be very very bad for other people,” cautions Janee Briesemeister, a senior legislative strategist who works on electricity issues for the AARP.
This week New York’s electricity regulator threatened to block a power provider called Buy Energy Direct from operating in the state over complaints that it signed up customers who never intended to sign up, a scheme called “slamming.”
“It’s even more confusing than shopping for a cellphone contract,” says Briesemeister.
Many in the industry think that companies will learn to offer ever more straightforward and useful plans in order to woo and keep customers, and customers will learn to shop for electricity the way they shop for phone or cable service.
“The industry is only at the beginning of learning to understand their customers and figuring out what people want to do,” says Brain Seal of the Electric Power Research Institute, an industry-funded technical group.