Friends Getting You To Switch Electricity Suppliers
An old (now retired) boss asked me what the catch was behind the Constellation Energy offer of free electricity. Constellation Energy is a competitive electricity provider. In New Jersey, they are offering their unregulated customers free "juice" if they sign up 10 or more people to buy electricity generated and/or marketed by Constellation Energy: http://blogs.constellation.com/energy4home/2012/04/how-new-jersey-residents-can-lower-their-bills-with-free-electric-generation-supply/
Well, the catch with all these competitive electricity suppliers is that you have to shop around at the end of your first unregulated contract period. Back at Christmas, I got a call from an old service buddy who signed on with Constellation, which initially offered him a better rate than his power company did. Come renewal time, Constellation sent him a renewal offer letter. He was incredulous that they offered him a one year rate that was higher than what some other unregulated providers were offering, and higher than his regulated power company's winter rate. Amazingly, they printed the incumbent power company's rate right on the letter! He shopped around, saw a better price from a unregulated division of Con Edison, (the regulated power company serving NY City) and called me to ask if they were legit.
So, I can see some people in New Jersey signed up by a friend or family member not paying attention to the renewal letter and being given a lousy renewal rate by Constellation Energy. A few shootings may even ensue. More likely is that people will find they are being hosed and will drop Constellation. So all the work one does to line up 10 "marks" is only good for a year.