Energy Plus Electricity Company in Maryland

Energy Plus Electricity CompanyEnergy Plus is an electricity company that operates in several deregulated electric utility states including the state of Maryland. The unique aspect to Energy Plus is their partnership with Best Buy.

You can earn Reward Points on your Best Buy rewards zone card if you choose to sign up with Energy Plus using the special reward zone letter you may receive in the mail or perhaps your email.

I personally received a letter from Energy Plus in Texas for signing up on their residential electricity rate plan. I was fascinated that Best Buy was getting into the electricity service business if even through a partnership of sorts.

I really do not now much about Energy Plus other than the letter I received from them through the Best Buy partnership. I personally find it a headache to keep track of the reward zone points offered through Best Buy because I can never seem to use the points to buy what it is I am shopping for at Best Buy.

If you are a coupon type of person though you may find a great benefit in choosing Energy Plus as your Maryland electricity company. In regards to some complaints and reviews I read on the complaints board website I have some further information to add in regards to Energy Plus.

Since Energy Plus offers a market rate product they are charging you a rate that varies based on what the market dictates on the commodities market. This means your electricity rate with Energy Plus may go up and down similar to that of the old monopoly utility you may have switched from.

The complaints from Energy Plus customers on the complaints board are primarily people in New York and Connecticut who are saying their electricity rate went up several cents higher when switching from the old monopoly electric utility to Energy Plus.

Some points to consider are that Energy Plus rates are variable so they may indeed be higher one month compared to a rate you received several months prior. Since you are on a variable electricity rate you can’t compare prices from January with a rate you had with a different provider in June.

The energy commodities market changes everyday and can be dramatically different summer and winter months. Energy Plus discloses to their customers that their rate is a variable changing rate and so I want to reiterate that yes their electricity rate can change from month to month and they do not hide this fact.

Before you complain against an electricity company in Maryland regarding your new rate plan make sure you compare your rate apples to apples. If you changed to Energy Plus and have a question about the charges go ahead and call your old electric company up.

Have the old energy supplier quote you what their advertised rate was for the same time period you want to compare your Energy Plus rate. Chances are if your rate was dramatically higher with Energy Plus it was probably a high price with the old monopoly electric utility you switched away from as well.

This is only my opinion and to help explain what the confusion might be with some people in Maryland, Connecticut, and New York in regards to their Energy Plus electricity bill looking higher than they expected. If I am missing something in my understanding of the issue please feel free to comment below.

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One comment on “Energy Plus Electricity Company in Maryland
  1. Kurt G says:

    Please read this if you are considering switching your electric supply company to Energy Plus. (from original post on Feb 14, with minor accuracy revisions)

    About two years ago I switched to Energy Plus after speaking to one of their sales people. They told me I should see and an average of 7% savings over my current supplier’s charges in addition to getting 3% back into my son’s Upromise account as well as a $25 signing bonus that would also go into the Upromise account. I believed Energy Plus’s representation and I signed up. I now regret it and partially blame myself because I didn’t’ listen to my wife. My wife knew something was wrong. She pays the utility bills and on several occasions she had told me that the electric bills seemed really high as compared to the past. I dismissed her concerns with a statement like “energy is getting more expensive, don’t worry we have a good deal”. I now know what an idiot I was not to listen to her. Last week my wife insisted I call to have the meter checked because of how high the bill was. I did call, and was shocked when National Grid told me that in my most recent bill, I paid over 14 cents per KWH to Energy Plus when National Grid was charging a little over 5 cents.
    I immediately called Energy Plus and spoke to a supervisor; this is where it gets interesting. The supervisor was apologetic and explained, that recently their cost had spiked but generally speaking, over time everything averaged out and that they offered competitive electric supply rates. I now know, that this word, “competitive” is a word Energy Plus uses a lot to cover their deception and presumably, walk the fine line of legality. Their idea and anybody else’s idea of competitive is quite different. The supervisor I spoke with did a quick review of my account and told me that indeed, over the last year I had paid a bit more than my original supplier would have charged but the year prior to that I had done well. He assured me that he would look at the last year of my bills and see if “some adjustment could be made”.
    While I was waiting for the supervisors call back, I did a bit of investigating myself. I googled “Energy Plus Scam” and was not surprised to see the page fill with complaints of overcharging, then I took a detailed look at my last 22 months of Electric bills, noted the amount charged by Energy Plus for my energy supply and called National Grid (previous supplier) and got the amount they had been charging during the same period. The result of this simple check dropped my jaw in disbelief. I had been taken to the cleaners. The firstmonth after signing was nearly identical to my previous supplier’s rate followed by a mere 24% overcharge and then for the next 20 months, Energy Plus overcharged me from 100% to 178% more each month than what I would have been charged if I had stayed with National Grid. Most of the months, the overcharge was between 130% and 170%. I called the Energy Plus supervisor back and asked him to look back a bit further than one year because his representation that the first year of their service, I had done well, was much like the original sales spiel, not true. The supervisor then told me that, I shouldn’t forget, that all the while I had been benefiting from the 3% rebate back to my son’s Upromise account and that their rate had been clearly stated on my bill. He went on to say that I could have canceled at anytime, free of charge and that as it turns out their company isn’t as competitive (there’s that word again) in my area as they are in other areas. I again brought up the salesperson’s original representation of saving an average of 7% annually on my electric supply. The supervisor acknowledged that this was a statement that his company’s sales people would sometimes make.

    The following excerpt is from Energy Plus’s web site as of 2/13/2011, “As with all variable rate plans, your supply price may fluctuate on a monthly basis – lower or higher – to reflect the current state of each power market. However, in order to make an informed comparison to competitive offers, customers should average their bills over the course of several months or seasons, rather than taking a snapshot of just one month. Our goal is to be competitive with other energy suppliers and your local utility company over the long run, while offering valuable rewards.” Well, I would say that Energy Plus was not very good at meeting their goal. Notice again the frequent use of competitive in Energy Plus’s well crafted statement. The statement implies savings and in essence says you really can’t make an informed decision unless you wait through seasons of their inflated bills to make a decision. Rather insulting, Energy Plus doesn’t list any rates past or current on their web site for a good reason, it would limit the number of people they could take advantage of. They rather you take their word, regrettably I did.
    The supervisor did get back to me that day, and offered me 600.00 and advised me that he didn’t have to offer that. Six hundred dollars isn’t close to what their overcharges amounted to. He went on to say that he was only able to go back one year in my account and that would be the best he could do.

    I’ve severed my relationship with Energy Plus and have received the check.I will be filing a complaint with the NYS Public Service Commission (80 complaints in 2010) and perhaps the NYS Attorney General in the coming weeks. It is scary that a company like this can continue to do business in NYS. Why hasn’t the NYS Public Service Commission shut them down? Why have the Energy Plus, executives not been prosecuted for fraud. I hope that Upromise has or is in the process of disassociating themselves from Energy Plus.
    Bottom line; be very careful with these non-mainstream energy companies. As it turns out, (after checking Public Service Commission complaints) there are many companies like Energy Plus out there, preying on good people because they can. Somehow they are allowed to continue to do business, this is truly a buyer beware industry.

    Below is an actual 22 month comparison of what Enrgy Plus charged me for Electricity supply vs. what was available during the same time period through the local Utility company, Also I posted below a letter that Energy Plus posted on the Upromise Community Board regarding the avalanche of complaints against them and my response.

    Energy Plus Open letter to Upromise menbers

    03-02-2011 04:43 PM
    Dear Upromise members,

    We at Energy Plus have been carefully reviewing all of the feedback posted over the past few months and would like to respond. We are disappointed that we have not been able to provide a positive experience for everyone in the program and because of your concerns have been actively reviewing our pricing, particularly across the six different utility regions in New York.

    As a market-based product, we have unfortunately had high costs in New York and therefore New York customers’ bills increased to higher levels than anticipated, and for that we apologize. Our costs have recently decreased by 20-30% and we are lowering rates accordingly, to be reflected on next month’s bills if not already on current bills. We have also decided to lower rates an additional 20-30% as of the next billing cycle to provide further relief.

    Despite these efforts, we want to be very clear about the fact that our product is variable and therefore may change on each month’s bill. We encourage all of our customers to review their rate and compare it to other offers to decide if it works for them. If at any time it is not favorable, please contact us and you may cancel at any time without any kind of penalty. Our Customer Service team is available Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm ET at 1-877-320-0356 to answer any questions you may have.

    My response to Energy Plus Letter

    Your response is patronizing and ignores the simple fact that you claim to offer competitive prices for energy within the markets you serve but offer no information about what your rates are. One only has to look at any of the many complaint boards to see that you have customers from every deregulated market you operate in, screaming about your deceptive practices and overcharging. To suggest that you are just now reviewing the complaints over the last several months is laughable. You have a tsunami of complaints dating back to 2008, all with the same theme. Give rewards, promise competitive pricing without details and gouge until your found out. Once your found out give back some of the ill gotten gains, to quite the unhappy customer.

    These complaints are from all the states in which you operate. A quick look at the companies such as yourself that have a variable rate, shows that every company reviewed was higher than the local utility, Energy Plus had the distinction of being the highest “Market based product” out of all the companies and not by just a little. You were also the only “Market based product” company that doesn’t publish historical rates.

    I’m attaching a graph that shows in detail the rate you charged me over 22 months and the rate available from my local utility (National Grid). As you will see, the overcharging was not a random event. The first two months was similar to what was locally available and the next 20 months shows consistently excessive overcharging.

    You state in your previous email that ,and I quote ” we want to be very clear about the fact that our product is variable and therefore may change on each month’s bill. We encourage all of our customers to review their rate and compare it to other offers to decide if it works for them. If at any time it is not favorable, please contact us and you may cancel at any time without any kind of penalty.” This statement and other similar statements that your company makes in posting such as this and on your website is presumably how you stay out of legal trouble.

    For those of you reading this response please Google Energy Plus Scam and you will see the many, many complaints from all seven states in which Energy Plus operates. Also you will see two web sites come up with this address, EnergyPlusScam.com. These websites are actually operated by Energy Plus and provides a so called education about energy deregulation and why it’s not a scam. They recently put up these websites so they could have some control over the “Energy Plus Scam” search results. They make no mention in the body of the website who they are. They welcome comments but oddly they did not post any of my comments.

    I’m not sure how the graph is going to turn out on this, so here in print is the monthly rates that EP charged me per KWH and what National Grid was charging at the same (the national Grid rate is available on their web site). Also I’ve included the Energy Plus, percentage overcharge.
    March 2009 NG rate .0477 EP rate .0488 2% EP overcharge
    April 2009 NG rate .0392 EP rate .0488 24% EP overcharge
    May 2009 NG rate .0418 EP rate .0887 112%EP overcharge
    June 2009 NG rate .0438 EP rate ,1194 172%EP overcharge
    July 2009 NG rate .0440 EP rate .1179 168%EP overcharge
    August 2009 NG rate .0435 EP rate .1194 178%EP overcharge
    Sept. 2009 NG rate .0443 EP rate .1178 166%EP overcharge
    Oct. 2009 NG rate .0447 EP rate .1240 177%EP overcharge
    Nov. 2009 NG rate .0491 EP rate .1193 143%EP overcharge
    Dec. 2009 NG rate .0441 EP rate .1222 177%EP overcharge
    Jan 2010 NG rate .0567 EP rate .1271 124%EP overcharge
    Feb. 2010 NG rate .0541 EP rate .1216 125%EP overcharge
    March 2010 NG rate .0458 EP rate .1121 144%EPovercharge
    April 2010 NG rate .0443 EP rate .1186 168%EP overcharge
    May 2010 NG rate .0509 EP rate .1234 142%EP overcharge
    June 2010 NG rate .0542 EP rate .1264 133%EP overcharge
    July 2010 NG rate .0634 EP rate .1507 138%EP overcharge
    August 201 NG rate .0694 EP rate .1456 110%EP overcharge
    Sept. 2010 NG rate .0601 EP rate .1366 127%EP overcharge
    Oct. 2010 NG rate .0525 EP rate .1192 127%EP overcharge
    Nov 2010 NG rate .0457 EP rate .1122 145%EP overcharge
    Dec 2010 NG rate .0445 EP rate .1215 173%EP overcharge
    Jan 2011 NG rate .0522 EP rate .1417 171%EP overcharge

    Now to be fair, Energy Plus was giving me 3% back into my Upromise account and when I complained of this overcharging to Energy Plus they told me they had also not charged me a nominal tax that National Grid would have if I had been with them. But all-in-all I’d say that Energy Plus pretty much ripped me off. I would be very interested in your response, EP supervisor. If you choose to dispute any of my numbers, I’d be glad to post the evidence.

    As I said in an earlier posting, I will be filing a complaint with the Public Service Commission as 80 other people did in 2010 and the NYS attorney general. The relief I seek, is to have Energy Plus stop doing business in New York State. I encourage anybody who has been taken advantage of by this company to do the same, even if they got their money back.

    This last statement from the EP is the most insulting of all, “Our goal is to provide a valuable service so please know that we are listening and adjusting our program in response to your feedback. ” Mr. EPsupervisor, please do tell what possible “vauable service” your company provides? As for adjusting your program in response to our feedback, try not laying out one misleading statement after another as to the competiveness of your energy product.

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