Energy Plus Scam Or A Way To Save Money???

by admin on November 22, 2010

I was reading about Energy Plus Holdings LLC and came across a complaint on ComplaintsBoard.com.

The complaint was about a customer’s energy bill being higher than the company that they started with.

I can’t speak from personal experience, nor can I tell you if Energy Plus Holdings LLC is a legitimate company, but I can tell you that rates can go up.

This person claims the electricity rate went up 250% when they switched from NYSEG to Energy Plus Holdings LLC.

There are a number of comments saying similar things about Energy Plus Holdings LLC.

I don’t think Energy Plus Holdings LLC is a scam, but I don’t know for sure, and my mom always told me not to talk about things I do not know so let me tell you something that I do know.

If you sign up with an energy company’s variable plan, you are not guaranteed that energy rate for the whole year, which is why I always tell people to sign up with a fixed plan, and you can find the fixed plans first on our comparison chart. We do not offer electricity through Energy Plus at this time. To see Energy Plus electric rates go to their website.

If they talk about their cheap rates and focus a lot of attention on that in their marketing and then you discover that a month or two into your contract there is nothing cheap about it then you may have been a victim of some less than savory marketing tactics.

If after having your attention diverted through ads regarding the real facts of the price you are then told over and over how cheap your energy cost will be then you may have been sucked up into a well planned marketing scheme.

When switching electric providers  no matter who the provider is chances are high many people will skip over the “energy facts label” and other hints here and there that shows a price much higher than most would anticipate.

Some electric companies take advantage of this uncarefulness and divert your attention to cheap sounding marketing slogans in hopes you won’t look closer at the rate.

Don’t confuse a variable rate plan with an Energy Plus Scam.

If you are not sure if you are going to be in the house or apartment for 6 months to a year, you probably should sign up with a variable plan.

You can always call us to see if there is a 3 month plan in your area, which is still better than a variable plan that could go up after the first month.

When I read the complaint, I could not help but wonder if this person simply signed up on a variable rate without comprehending what that would mean.

A fixed rate is locked in and lets you know what the rate will be for months out but a variable price is anyones guess as to the price month after month.

We are not excusing this company if they are doing something evil as some complaints claim. We are trying to remain unbiased to avoid slandering a company we have never used and hopefully the custumer comments will clear things up as far as what this provider is actually doing.

If you have any further questions, comments or concerns, please call us at 1-800-971-4020.

You can also comment on this post.

Update 6-24-2013; Bait and switch

Energy Plus does have a class action lawsuit against it coming up but I wanted to add a little bit more context to why people are saying Energy Plus is a scam. When I first wrote this article I wanted you to be aware of the differences between a scam and a variable rate plan and I feel like I have done that. This update is more about the extra stuff Energy Plus baits its potential customers.

Gift card, airline miles and other incentives make Energy Plus look attractive. Once you notice how much money you will not be saving on your electric bill then the airline mile look like a bill of goods. I’m not implying that you will not get the airline points or gift cards but that you are actually in the long run paying for them.

Since I’m not a traveler, not by choice, I would recommend visiting Hilary Stockton’s blog post on travelsort.com. She gives the details about how you can get your points and get out without taking a second mortgage.

I guess that is all the info I wanted to add. You can check out more about the Energy Plus lawsuit on my article I wrote back in June 2012.

{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

JOse Male February 13, 2011 at 3:16 am

God bless you. IN PA they are hooked with Worst Buy and are luring in the fish as we speak. Thanks to U I will not take the bait (2500 reward points to spend at Worst Buy)

Kurt G February 20, 2011 at 12:57 am

Responding to your post I can tell you that my rate was a vairable rate as was the majority of the many complaints about Energy Plus\’s overcharging. Energy Plus does not make available on there website or over the their rates. They will tell you that their goal is to be competitive. As for the fixed plan / contract. It is debatable if this has much upside. We do know that right from the start, you pay higher rates and unless rates go way up, you will continue to pay a higher rate on average. As for your mother\’s advise, I would say that my mother also had good advise, if it looks like a scam, sounds like a scam, it most likely is a scam. Please read my post that I\’ve put on several other sites and maybe you will be convinced of Energy Plus\’s deceptive practices.

Please read this if you are considering switching your electric supply company to Energy Plus.

Over 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 initial three months after signing were nearly identical to my previous supplier’s rate and then for the next 19 months, Energy Plus overcharged me from 100% to over 200% 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 140% and 200%. 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 salespersons 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 am waiting for the check now. I fully expect the check to have some kind of statement below the endorsement area which will release them of any further liability. If that is the case I will not be signing it. Either way 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.

admin March 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I want to know why your are going out of your way to put this post all over the web. For my readers and I to understand what the purpose for this long comment/article is.

I’m open to any comment. Your comment pecked my interest. Not because of what you said but the reason behind what you are saying.

Kurt G March 11, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Response to Admin,

The reason is painfully obvious, I’m upset at Energy Plus for misrepresenting their savings over the local utility and would like to prevent this from happening to others. Maybe after you look at the chart below, you will understand.

Below is a month by month accounting of the overcharging by Energy Plus which does not include the last bill after I had canceled where they overcharged me a whopping 220%

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

Mark P March 16, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Kurt G. is correct. After switching to energy plus, my electric portion went up 2.5 times. Fortunuately I checked within the first two months after switching and cancelled after they credited me my US Airways miles. Miles are nice, but not at the premium rate that they are charging…….. I am surprised that state governments are not filing suits against them for price gouging.

a saleman June 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm

As an Energy Plus salesperson I can tell you that I am torn from the truth while making my commission. Every customer I have looked at their rates compared to market have double or Triple the kwH. I wish their was something I could do to sue them, training me with misleading customers on the benefits and ultimately have the prospects being charges an elivated rate. With the job market being what it is, I needed work, I am embarressed by the rates the customers are being charges. I am shocked!!!

janhagel July 24, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I also noticed my rate went up. In Jan and Feb it was 0.089. In Mar it was 0.095. Received a $25.00 rebate.In Apr it was back to 0.0899 and in May it jumped to $ 0.119.
and it Jun it went up again to 0.129.
Maybe I should just stick with PECO instead of switching looking for a deal.
You never know when the rates go up or down.
I have a feeling they all rip you off.

yankeesAgain August 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Agree,

I went from 8.2 per kWh to 22.875 per kWh — more than a scam, it is really misleading, when i called to complain, they said they could change my program to 10.12 per kWh. Good thing I caught in 2nd month but my bill had already gone up by $250 for one month.

Do not use them, get out fast.

Ripped off in Texas September 19, 2011 at 9:04 pm

I will join the chorus of frustrated people screaming “don’t sign up with Energy Plus, no matter what they offer you”. It’s simply a scam. My signing rate was $0.04/kWh, which was incredibly low (this was June 2011) — however they tack on a $64 delivery charge (which is pretty high), so I figured it was just a clever way to charge very little per kWh. I also figured that the rate would increase the next month, which it did. In July the rate went to $0.09/kWh with a $69 delivery charge. At this point I figured it had probably stabilized and now I was only slightly getting ripped off compared to my previous electric company. In Aug my new rate was $0.1556/kWh (also with a $69 delivery charge). I’ve NEVER paid so much for electricity! I checked the average price for the state of TX: around $0.10/kWh

Total scam. I called and asked if there was anything they would do: nope. Don’t waste your money on this company. I should have stuck with the old wisdom that if something seems too good to be true, it will be.

admin September 20, 2011 at 7:20 pm

I’m not sure what Energy Plus did to you but I know that some companies will show the rate without the TDSP charges averaged in. Electric Rates averages the delivery charges into the rates you will see in our comparison chart.

The delivery charge should be the same no matter which provider you choice. TDSP charges or delivery fees are charged by the pole and wire company not Energy Plus.

Oncor, CenterPoint, TNMP, AEP/WTU, AEP/TCC/CPL, and Sharyland could be your poles and wires company depending on where you live.

I hope this helps.

eric September 29, 2011 at 12:00 am

Stay away from Energy Plus (Houston, TX). As their name says PLUS + PLUS + PLUSSES. I was lured to them because of airline mileage. I should have stayed put w/ my previous provider. Changing next billing period. I called 1-800 # and spoke w/ Vince. He said that the TDU Delivery charges are standard. It’s the same w/ the other providers. Keeps on repeating standard charges. I’d like to share my billing info.

Ist bill: (14 days)
Total energy charges ———————-73.51 (1470kWh @ 0.05001/kWh)
TDU delivery charges ———————50.09
customer charge —————–0.93
meter charge————————0.84
ADFIT CREDIT———————-0.94
distribution system charge——25.94
system benefit fund—————-0.96
nuclear decommissioning fee–0.07
transition charge——————2.23 (transition to where?? he did not explain)
transition charge (TC2)———4.65
transition charge (TC3)———0.59
transition charge (TC4)———2.58
advance metering charge—–1.42 (i still have my 15 year old meter, see above for
another meter charge)
EECRF—————————–0.18
transmission service charge–7.85
transmission cost recovery factor–2.79
TX PUC ASSESSMENT———————0.19

2nd bill: (29 days)
Energy Charge (3052kWH @ 0.16217/kWh) —$494.93 (increased from 0.05001/kWh)
TDU Delivery Charges——————————-$108.99
customer charge—————–1.62
meter charge———————-3.85
ADFIT CREDIT—————– -1.96
distribution system charge—50.32
system benefit fund————-2.00
nuclear decommissioning fee—0.15
transition charge—————-4.62
transition charge (TC2)——-9.65
transition charge (TC3)——-1.22
transition charge (TC4)——-5.35
advance metering charge—-3.05
EECRF—————————-0.89
rate case expenses surcharge—0.17
transmission service charge—-25.76
transmission cost recovery factor–2.30
TX PUC assessment ——————————0.98
late fee — $31.25

TOO MANY CHARGES!!! Shocking..TXU doesn’t have this much. Could anyone share their charges, too. Vince said that there are no middleman or a third party involved. I would appreciate it if anyone can share their “standard charges.” I wanted to go month to month so I can look at/compare the charges and not sign up for 6 months and be stucked w/ charges like the above.

admin October 4, 2011 at 8:16 pm

I made the video below to explain what I see with the charges. I hope this helps. If not I can give you more info about delivery charges (TDSP charges).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3dfhWqiS_w

Brooklyn October 17, 2011 at 1:34 pm

My rates in Brooklyn went up 120% in 3 months . I called them they promised to send a refund ,but im canceling as soon as this check comes, if it ever does ….. DON\’T SIGN WITH ENERGY PLUS no matter what they offer you .

bill November 16, 2011 at 2:39 pm

I had basically the same charges in clear lake area, it cost me a years worth of energy. I feel bad for everyone ripped off by this company. 10 times the cost of reliant. there should be some sort of legal action

Gina Morri December 15, 2011 at 12:30 am

THANKS EVERYONE FOR THE WARNINGS! I almost signed up w Energy Plus being lured by the airline mileage, too.

rob scribner December 27, 2011 at 2:42 pm

B*st*rds stole thousands from me promising 7% decrease over PPL. Please call your state rep and contact the attorneys doing a class action in New York for Non-Competitive rates. B*st*rds!

Elian January 17, 2012 at 5:18 am

You would THINK you could go to the website and check on their rates but, oh no. The homepage brags about several different rewards programs but you have to dig to find anything about rates. Then, if you can navigate to that page, you will find you have to call to ask for a quote.

jigzjader January 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

thank you very much for all the information, almost signed up because of the 2500 reward zone points form best buy since I’m a Premier Silver member. Again thanks

Karen February 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm

Thanks for this info. I got a letter from this company and wanted to look into it before I signed up. Thanks for the help with the decision to throw the letter in the trash.

Kelly Z February 10, 2012 at 9:45 pm

I agree with those who say it is a rip off. I was searching because I noticed that my bills now are about half of what they were last year with Energy Plus. I am normally so careful but I did not know there was such a huge difference. I thought maybe $10 – 15 per month and so I just put off checking into the matter. This month\’s bill is $60 cheaper than this month last year. They are ALL $35 to $100 less than when I was with Energy Plus. I checked the web to see about a class action or something and came across this page.

Sanjay G February 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Thanks for the warnings.
I got 7500 SPG points offer to switch to Energy Plus Holdings. There is no trace of their rates on internet, surprising.
But now I am staying away from it.

Thomas U February 14, 2012 at 10:02 pm

I also believe they’re a scam, especially now.

We were promised 10% below our local utility, but a few months after switching the rate was 70% higher than our local utility.

When calling Energy Plus, we were told that we signed up for the “Variable Rate” plan, as per the agreement we were sent after signing up.

Funny, the post card didn’t say “10% below today, and a potention much higher in the future later…”…

So yes, they are within their legal rights to charge anything they want. The local utility is mandated by the board of utilities (At least in NJ) and can’t suddenly charge more.

Energy plus did agree to refund some of the charges, and offered to switch us into their commercial rates which were lower today than the local utility.

I’m switching back to the local utility, and staying there….

BTW: I’ve overpaid about $600 since switching…considering this the cost of learning….

Good Luck to all

paul March 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

they baited me also with miles. luckly i switched before i got crushed over the summer months but I think they ended up being on the winning side of the equation. Stay away unless you have a really low utility bill and don’t mind switching soon after getting your mileage bonus.

Russ T March 23, 2012 at 2:44 pm

shocked in CT. I have been negelent in watching Energy Plus costs/KWH. I calculated March 2012 charges for CL&P (1015 KWH x 8.28) $84.04 to EP (1015 KWH x 12.975) $131.68 and realized I was over spending by $47.64 just this month alone. OUCH! This could equate to 2 months of extra bills. Retired and angry, I called EP and told them that they had 1 chance to explain. Competitive goes just so far. They switched me to commercial acct at 8.50/KWH. Note to EP, I’m watching every bill from now on. Air miles don’t mean squat when your being over charged.

Neal B April 24, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Yes they are a rip-off. Our rate went up from .075 to .09 to .13 in 3 months.

diondra August 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm

DO NOT SWITCH!!! If you are in New York State then NYSEG is much much much cheaper. I even received airline points at 2 for each dollar, and it still costs too much!! I could buy points from the airline directly at a cheaper rate than paying for gas through Energy Plusd. I”m switching back today!!

Amy Jones August 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

BEWARE!!! I am a pretty conservative person and very on top with my finances so before making the switch to Energy Plus for my Electric supply, I decided to call them for their historical rates for 2012. From March through June they were charging anywhere from $.1183 to $.1222 per kwh, triple what I am being charged by my current supplier. They were only able to give a generic explanation of not getting as good a deal as my current supplier when buying their supply. If more people were aware of this, I have a hard time seeing how they can remain in business when they aren’t even competitive in the business!

Jim August 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm

I tried your comparison tool but it missed many providers. Just reading your articles, I came up with four others. What is the problem with it?

admin September 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Hi Jim,

Not all providers are listed in the comparison chart. All providers in the chart are pre-screened.

I can email you if you would like more information.

Thanks for your comment.

Clair Hall October 26, 2012 at 10:52 pm

Being a rep for competing ESCO I can honestly say that all the information I have found out on Energy Plus to be true. The company I represent is the only company operating in the NYSEG area that guarantees a lower rate than NYSEG’s monthly variable rate.
The average savings has been on the 6% range.

bill December 14, 2012 at 7:41 pm

It took me more than two years (my wife was handling the electric bills) to realize that Energy Plus was ripping me off. Thousands of dollars fleeced from my pocket! The Attorney General of CT has petitioned to have them investigated. Hope it happens soon.

Jerry M December 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Energy Plus is offering me 15,000 Hilton Honor Points, to join. They are promising a 5% reduced rate over my current supplier, for the first 3 months. As stated in the many responses before me, the rate is variable and may be higher than my current supplier after the first three months. I thank the people who responded above, since they confirm my suspicions about this promo. I will be sending this website to the Hilton chain, in the hopes that they are not in on this gouging.

Sophronia March 16, 2013 at 9:56 pm

To all con Ed customers :Energy Plus
12 month electric supply rate at 10.625 kwh
Fixed rate for full year
Enrollment Bonus. $75.00. After 2nd month earn 3 percent cash back annually.
No fee to cancel, or switch
Con Ed will still deliver electricity/emergencies
Bill 1 from Con Ed with Energy Plus as supplier

My kWh is presently with Con Ed @ 8.2703 plus function charge,Grt surcharge=9.0 per kwl

Luis June 4, 2013 at 3:29 pm

I switched from JCP&L to Energy Plus on the basis of saving money , but it turn out that after couple of months the rate from Energy Plus increased 50% compared to the one JCP&L offered. Unfortunately it took me 6 months to realize that…. and paid about $250 more on those six months that what I would have paid should I had stayed with JCP&L.
Energy Plus definitely a rip-off.

JChim January 2, 2014 at 11:33 pm

I am currently in a situation with Energy Plus as well. I live in PA. Have had for eight months and the last two months appear to be almost double competitive rates. I have been told a client manager will contact me to discuss how to make it right. We have missed each other several times. Has any one tried to negotiate an equitable settlement with this company and what should I expect or should I just cut the cord now and go back to PECO then fight it out with them for money they owe me back?

Clair Hall January 18, 2014 at 12:22 pm

I have been a customer of Ambit Energy for almost 4 years. Ambit Energy is the most competitive, and fair priced energy company in the Area.
They have just started a new savings guarantee in PA of 3%. That is they guarantee customers on the guaranteed savings rate will save at least 3% annual when compared to PECO, or any other incumbent electric provider in PA.

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