Friday, 29 July 2016 11:47
By Phil VanHorne CEO, BlueRock Energy –
Do you believe income level makes you less capable of making an informed financial choice about what is best for you and your family? Well, believe it or not, that’s exactly what the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has determined and Governor Cuomo has endorsed.
The PSC, with the support of the Governor, has placed a moratorium on the ability of competitive energy service companies (ESCOs)—including BlueRock Energy—to sell electricity and natural gas to low-income customers because they believe those who make less money, cannot make sound financial decisions for themselves.
Not only is this offensive on so many levels, but it flies in the face of state deregulation efforts and works against making New York energy markets more competitive. More competition means lower prices. But if you fall into the income level that the government has deemed as ‘low income,’ you have only one option, and it does NOT include a fixed price plan that would help you maintain your budget by avoiding month-to-month fluctuations.
Natural gas prices for the upcoming winter have risen 55 percent in the last four months. If the weather is colder and natural gas prices continue higher, low-income customers could be in dire straits.
The attitude that Albany knows best is insulting and demeaning. They claim the decision was made to protect low-income families from unscrupulous energy service providers. Yet even though they have had the authority to discipline any misbehaving ESCO’s or remove them from doing business in New York entirely, they haven’t done so. What that tells me is that either the alleged behavior didn’t happen, or they aren’t doing their job.
Ethically-run, price-competitive ESCO’s, like BlueRock Energy, want nothing more than for the PSC to crack down on those who are out there taking advantage of New Yorkers and dragging down the reputation of the entire industry. So do it!
Bottom line is this: Competition is the driving force behind lower prices, which is why deregulation of energy companies was such an important decision for consumers. No one—no matter what their income level—should be denied the opportunity to make a choice for themselves as to what energy plan best fits their needs. It is insulting and patronizing to think that just because a consumer falls into a low income bracket that they are deemed by the government as irresponsible and incapable of making informed decisions.
BlueRock Energy holds all New Yorkers in higher regard.