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Frequently Asked Questions



Electricity

Show details for Q: How will electric competition affect me?Q: How will electric competition affect me?
Hide details for Q: Do I have to choose a new electricity supplier?Q: Do I have to choose a new electricity supplier?
A: No. However, it's in your best interest to at least compare the prices and services offered by energy service companies. Your local electric utility company will continue to supply your power if you prefer not to make a change.

Show details for Q: What are energy service companies (ESCOs)?Q: What are energy service companies (ESCOs)?
Show details for Q: Who will come if I have a problem with my electricity?Q: Who will come if I have a problem with my electricity?
Show details for Q: Will different companies need to put up power lines in my neighborhood?Q: Will different companies need to put up power lines in my neighborhood?
Show details for Q: Who will read and maintain the meters at my home or business?Q: Who will read and maintain the meters at my home or business?
Show details for Q: Is there a chance I will lose power when I switch companies?Q: Is there a chance I will lose power when I switch companies?
Hide details for Q: How will I be billed for service?Q: How will I be billed for service?
A: Whether you choose to buy power from your utility or an ESCO, you bill for electricity may itemize (unbundle) charges. If you choose an ESCO, you may receive two bills: one bill from the ESCO for the electricity product, and one from the utility for the delivery of the product. Other options are possible - the utility may bill you on behalf of the ESCO and include the ESCO's charges in its bill, or the ESCO may bill you on behalf of the utility and include the utility's charges in the ESCO's bill. If you stay with your local utility, you will continue to receive one bill. Regardless of who supplies your electricity, you will always have access to your utility usage and billing history, and that information can only be released by the utility with your permission.
Show details for Q: Can I switch companies more than once?Q: Can I switch companies more than once?
Show details for Q: Will I be protected from being switched from one power supplier to another without my knowledge or approvalQ: Will I be protected from being switched from one power supplier to another without my knowledge or approval?
Hide details for Q: Can an ESCO shut off my power?Q: Can an ESCO shut off my power?
A: No. The control of your electric services remains with your utility company. If you lose your supplier for any reason, you will be given 15 days' notice to allow you time to choose a new supplier or return to the local utility.
Show details for Q: What if I have a complaint with my electricity supplier?Q: What if I have a complaint with my electricity supplier?
Show details for Q: What if I have a complaint with my local utility that delivers my electricity?Q: What if I have a complaint with my local utility that delivers my electricity?

Natural Gas

Show details for Q: Do I have to choose a new gas supplier?Q: Do I have to choose a new gas supplier?
Hide details for Q: Who do I call if I smell a gas odor?Q: Who do I call if I smell a gas odor?
A: Your gas supplier will still be responsible for the safety and maintenance of the system. You will continue to report any possible safety problems and noticeable odors or gas leaks to your gas supplier.

Hide details for Q: Is there a chance my gas supply will be interrupted when I switch companies?Q: Is there a chance my gas supply will be interrupted when I switch companies?
A: No. There will be no interruption of service if you switch to an ESCO, or from one ESCO to another.
Show details for Q: How will I be billed for service?Q: How will I be billed for service?
Show details for Q: Who will read and maintain the meters at my business?Q: Who will read and maintain the meters at my business?
Hide details for Q: Can I switch companies more than once?Q: Can I switch companies more than once?
A: Yes. However, you should consider the terms and conditions of the ESCO's gas supply contract before you decide to switch.
Show details for Q: Can an ESCO shut off my gas?Q: Can an ESCO shut off my gas?
Show details for Q: What if I have a complaint with my gas supplier?Q: What if I have a complaint with my gas supplier?
Show details for Q: What if my service gets switched without me asking?Q: What if my service gets switched without me asking?

Telephone

Show details for Q: Can I choose more than one company for different telephone services?Q: Can I choose more than one company for different telephone services?
Show details for Q: Do I have to pick a long distance company?Q: Do I have to pick a long distance company?
Show details for Q: How can I make long-distance calls?Q: How can I make long-distance calls?
Show details for Q: Will I still be able to find the phone numbers of people or businesses that have a different local phone coQ: Will I still be able to find the phone numbers of people or businesses that have a different local phone company?
Show details for Q: Are there different sources for directory assistance?Q: Are there different sources for directory assistance?
Show details for Q: What company do I call for repairs if more than one company provides my telephone services?Q: What company do I call for repairs if more than one company provides my telephone services?
Hide details for Q: How will I be billed?Q: How will I be billed?
A: Billing methods vary among companies. Ask each company how you will be billed for services so you know what to expect.
Show details for Q: Can I lose my basic local telephone service if I do not pay other charges, such as long distance charges?Q: Can I lose my basic local telephone service if I do not pay other charges, such as long distance charges?
Show details for Q: What is "slamming?"Q: What is "slamming?"
Show details for Q: What is "cramming?"Q: What is "cramming?"
Hide details for Q: What do I do if I've been slammed or crammed?Q: What do I do if I've been slammed or crammed?
A: If you have been slammed, immediately report it to your authorized company (basic local service company or long distance company) so you can be reconnected. Warning: Do not ask to disconnect service from an unauthorized company until you have arranged to get service from your preferred company. If you have been crammed, contact your local telephone service company, which has procedures in place to resolve cramming complaints.
Show details for Q: What should I consider if I want to use a wireless phone instead of traditional telephone service?Q: What should I consider if I want to use a wireless phone instead of traditional telephone service?

Cable TV

Show details for Q: Is a landlord required to allow a cable television company access to a building for the purposes of installQ: Is a landlord required to allow a cable television company access to a building for the purposes of installing equipment...
Show details for Q: Is compensation provided for allowing a cable television company to install cables, switches, and other equQ: Is compensation provided for allowing a cable television company to install cables, switches, and other equipment in a bu...
Show details for Q: What are my rights with respect to a cable company’s access to my property?Q: What are my rights with respect to a cable company’s access to my property?
Show details for Q: What is an Order of Entry?Q: What is an Order of Entry?
Hide details for Q: What happens if cable television company personnel damage any property during an installation?Q: What happens if cable television company personnel damage any property during an installation?
A: The cable television company is required to reimburse a landlord for any damage related to an installation on or within the property.




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