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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Electric company sued for 'deceptive' billing practices

By Shaun Zinck | May 13, 2015

Shutterstock 155812997

A New Jersey man is suing an electric company over allegations it engaged in “deceptive” billing practices.

David Steketee of Morristown, NJ, filed the lawsuit April 22 in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut against Viridian Energy of Stamford, Conn., claiming the company hiked rates after an initial rate period expired for new customers.

Once the “teaser rate” is over customers are enrolled in a month to month variable rate plan with “exorbitant rates,” the lawsuit said. The rates are tied to the wholesale power market, however Steketee claims Viridian charges higher rates regardless of the changes in the underlying market price.

“Viridian routinely charges its consumers rates that are four or even five times the underlying market rate, notwithstanding Viridian’s representations that its variable rates 'reflect' monthly wholesale electric prices,” the lawsuit said.

Steketee said the company raises the prices when the market cost goes up, however, it doesn't lower the price when the market falls.

Steketee is seeking class status for all New Jersey consumers who switched to Viridian hoping for lower rates, and is also seeking more than $5 million in damages plus court costs.

He is represented by Robert A. Izard, Seth R. Klein and Nicole A. Veno of Izard Nobel LLP in West Hartford, Conn.

United States District Court District of Connecticut case number 3:15-cv-00585.

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