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Letter: Rival utilities aren’t a cure-all

Escobar's car went airborne along the LIE service

Escobar's car went airborne along the LIE service road last summer. Photo Credit: News 12

Be careful what you wish for. State regulators are considering opening Long Island to energy service companies (ESCOs), retail marketers that often promise consumers electricity at lower prices than their local utility company charges [“Competition considered,” News, Jan. 8].

Elsewhere in New York, ESCOs charged 14 percent more on average for retail electricity than utility companies did in 2014, and ESCOs have hit New Yorkers with higher average prices every year since 2007, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Long Islanders faced the third-highest retail electric costs in the nation in 2014, and a 2015 AARP-commissioned survey found more than half of the Island’s Generation X and baby boomer voters surveyed were concerned about being able to pay their utility bills.

AARP has called for state regulators to probe ESCOs. We should fix the marketplace before we expand it.

Beth Finkel, Manhattan

Editor’s note: The writer is the New York State director of AARP.