PRESS RELEASE DECEMBER 2009
The Energy Scam Why are we paying triple the going rate for our energy?
I recently discover the secret to my soaring energy bills, It wasn’t that I had the thermostat turned up to high, it wasn’t that I was leaving lights on over the house, it wasn’t that I ran the A/C all summer long even when I was at work, no it was much more serious than I thought, the more I tried to conserve the higher my bills seemed to be and there was nothing I could do to control it.
I had to go back in time to unravel this mystery all the way back to 1997, to the lure of saving money on my energy bills, to the lure of a badge wearing, clipboard carrying sales rep standing on my front stair explaining how I can save a bundle, just sign here! What a scam.
Oh sure if I could find a copy of a bill from 1997 they may of saved me a penny or two on my energy cost you know at that amazing introductory rate but that time has long since pasted. Today they have jumped their rates to more than triple the rate charged by the Gas and Electricity Companies that they had warned me about, with their surcharges and this and that charges that they can’t even keep strait and my favorite “if you want to get out of this it’s going to cost you a bundle” charge, they have managed to send my energy cost sky high.
I was talking to a friend who is in the bankruptcy industry and they have actually had clients filing for bankruptcies this year and the main cause listed for their bankruptcy was The Energy Scam. It seems that third party billing companies are running up bills so high they are becoming unmanageable for some and a real strain for most people to the point of total economical stress.
I think it’s time we speak up and that these companies be held accountable, that controls be put in place to regulate them and protect individuals and business from energy scams.
ENERGY SCAM CONTINUED…………………..
It all started to come to light when my friend in the Bankruptcy Business had mentioned that clients had listed the cause of bankruptcy as “The Energy Scam” I thought I better have a closer look at my energy cost, because for a while now they have seemed a little high and I’d done all the conservation checks to make sure I wasn’t wasting energy, you know check the water meter to make sure I didn’t have any leaks at a toilet or tap, installed a programmable thermostat, trained my teenager to turn lights of when he wasn’t using them anymore, put a timer on the swimming pool so the pump only runs when the solar heater is being cascaded with sun. We put in a high efficiency furnace, replaced the hot water tank, increased the insulation in the walls and ceiling I thought we would save even more but oh no are energy bills kept going up.
We started to look at the bills and went back comparing our usage, we were down from last year but the bills kept getting higher. First I contacted the electric company Horizon Utilities; I wanted to know what their rates are and what it would cost me if I was being bill directly from them instead of Direct Energy.
After talking with Horizon Utilities I knew I was being ripped off. Let’s see if I was to pay for my electricity directly from Horizon Utilities my electricity bill would have been $112.02 plus GST instead of what Direct Energy charged me which was $334.78 plus GST. Now I think it’s time I have a little talk with Direct Energy, If you think I was upset when I realized I have been getting scammed you would be right but that was nothing compared to how angry I became after I had to deal with a double talking customer service rep. at Direct Energy. Amongst all the double talk from the Direct Energy Rep. I was able to decipher a few things, first being if I want to get out of the contract it’s going to cost me over $300 they base it on how much time is left on your contract it could be more or less then what they want to charge me. That on my bill and yours you will see a charge for Provincial Benefit which in my case was $74.75 this a fee Direct Energy say’s that the electricity company applies to the bill, I checked with the electricity company and was told that the Provincial Government applies this charge to third party billing not the electric company, the electric company is just passing it on as they are required to do so. So why would I or anyone else want to pay additional charges that only apply to third party billing when we could by direct from the electrical company and why was this detail never mentioned by the badge wearing clipboard carrying sales rep who stood on my door step telling me how I could save money if I signed up with them. I don’t see any savings just Direct Energy dipping into my savings.
Hang on I’m not done yet, now I want to look at my gas bill, seeing how my third party supplier is Direct Energy as well. As I mentioned we have reduced our gas consumption by replacing our furnace and hot water tank but my equal billing has shot up from around $125.00 per month to $196.00 I don’t understand this if my prices are locked in with Direct Energy and my consumption is down the how did my gas bill go up, I better contact Union Gas and check into this. If I can find out what it would cost me to by my gas from Union Gas compared to Direct Energy’s rates I might be able to make some sense of it. When I contacted Union Gas the helpful customer service rep was able to provide me with a breakdown of their pricing. The facts are clear, if I bought my gas from Union Gas I would be paying 11.33 cents per cubic metre rather than the 37.90 cents per cubic metre that Direct Energy charges me, more then triple the price “but you’re going to save money if you sign with us” Ok, how’s that working out for me. There’s more, Union Gas Transportation Fee, Union Gas price 4.07 cents per cubic metre Direct Energy 6.968 cents per cubic metre, Storage, Union Gas price 0.99 cents per cubic metre Direct Energy 1.99 cents per cubic metre.
I thought I better cancel this contract as well; Direct Energy wants over $700 as a cancellation fee.
In both cases I asked to speak with a supervisor they wouldn’t connect me, only when I told them I was going to go public with this they put my call to accelerated priority and a representative would contact me within 2-4 business hours, that was December 17, 2009 haven’t heard from them and chances are I won’t.