As State Senate Seeks to Ban Consumer Choice in Electricity, Rep. Jeff Roy and House Leaders Are Standing Up for Consumer Savings from Retail Electricity

April 26, 2024

As the Massachusetts Senate votes today to ban consumer choice in electricity, leaders in the Massachusetts House are instead standing up for residents who want to shop for a better deal on their electric bill.

“It’s time to update the competitive retail supply law, but not to end it. My Committee, the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee, is working hard on legislation that would do just that,” said State Representative Jeff Roy (D-Franklin). “We are focused on reforming the market to better protect consumers from unscrupulous business practices. Like in any industry, bad actors in the competitive supply industry deserve to be punished, but we should not ban all companies. I support the creation of the state Office of Retail Market Oversight, with the ability to enforce regulations and provide greater transparency for consumers. This will allow law enforcement to continue its progress by providing more tools and more resources. This is the better way. Let’s improve the market, not end it. Let’s protect competition, not eliminate it. And let’s continue giving customers the choices they deserve to save money and to achieve their climate goals.”

Legislation being voted on in the State Senate today would shut down the residential competitive retail electric market in the state, denying customers the ability to shop for an electric supplier that aligns with their economic and environmental goals.

“Senate bill 2738 proposes to ban consumers from shopping for an electric provider, leaving millions of Massachusetts residents stuck paying higher rates to their utilities,” said Christopher Ercoli, President and CEO of the Retail Energy Advancement League. “Customers that shopped last year saved significantly on their electric bills. Rather than working with industry on stronger regulations and consumer protections, this bill unjustly strips these residents of their ability to find better rates, 100% renewable energy offerings, or other electric products that align with their economic and environmental goals.”

While State Senators are seeking to shut down the entire competitive electric market, the retail energy industry supports legislation in the House, H.3155, sponsored by Rep. Tackey Chan, to improve oversight and consumer protections in the local electric market.

Proposed reforms include:

  • Creating an office of Competitive Market Oversight with additional staff to oversee the market and enforce regulations, funded by a fee on the retail energy suppliers
  • Enabling customers to switch suppliers mid-billing cycle within three business days
  • Establishes guidelines for customers on energy assistance programs
  • Mandating auto-renewal notices
  • Tackling issues related to bad actors in the market by requiring supplier training and certification
  • Enhancing transparency by publishing complaints
  • Increasing industry licensing fees to support oversight and enforcement measures
  • Requiring disclosure and reporting of voluntary renewable energy credits to the state

“We commend Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee Chairman Roy and Representative Chan for championing common sense reforms, protecting their constituents, and ensuring they have options at a time when energy prices are at an all-time high,” said Ercoli.

REAL Choice