Info session on energy retailers coming up

Press Release

Slated for Thursday at Super 8
Many people in the Kenora-Rainy River region are paying too much for electricity and natural gas, and most aren’t even aware they could be paying far too much for their utilities.
Each summer, many people in the Fort Frances/Rainy River area get a knock at their door by someone offering fixed utility rates over a long-term contract.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know what they’re getting themselves into, says local MPP Howard Hampton.
“What people have to remember is these companies are in the business of making money,” he explained.
“If a contract isn’t going to return them a profit, they’re not going to offer it.
“These companies prey on fear and uncertainty, and too often people are coerced into signing a contract without actually knowing what they’re signing up for,” Hampton noted.
When a customer signs on with a retailer, the hydro and natural gas continues to be distributed by the local utility. As such, the customer continues to receive their bill from Fort Frances Power, Hydro One, or Union Gas.
This means many people are signed up without even realizing it, or they assume their contract came to an end when it actually has been renewed when the customer does not actively ask for a cancellation.
The telltale sign on both utility bills is a small line that says “your retailer is” just above the monthly charges section of the bill.
In the case of a hydro bill, retailer customers also will notice a line item labelled “Global Adjustment,” which is billed as a separate item for retailer contracts only.
Many people have complained of coercive tactics being used at the door by representatives from these companies, being misled, or, in a handful of cases, having their signature forged on the contract.
As a result, Hampton has asked his energy retailer specialist, Sarah Campbell, to host an information session in Fort Frances this Thursday (July 14) at 2 p.m. at the Super 8.
Campbell will provide information on who the retailers are, what they claim to offer, what they really offer, and what you can do if approached by a salesperson.
She’ll also outline what Hampton’s office can do to help those who already have signed up.