About Green Mountain Energy
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I want my $1000 back. Over the last 17 months this company has charged me $1000 more than if I were with ConEd. I thought the increases were out of my control based on the news and when I looked closer I found the culprit. The comparisons are unfortunately buried on the ConEd site and all the messaging from ConEd has made us think we are not an energy efficient home. Maybe not the most but our overages are from our supplier. Green Mountain! It is so confusing because it appears we are locked into a good rate and yet they're killing us with overages. Investigate this company. Something has gone down hill since 2019. All the most current reviews are ONE STAR. Do not be fooled. All of the 5 star reviews are from 2019!
For a company that says they are about “going green” they absolutely are not when it comes to consumer plans. For a company that promotes switching to solar and tries to get households to do so, they still find a way to charge high fees for switching to those plans. As a long time GME consumer they are still charging $150+ to change plans and to go to solar.
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DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY. I noticed my electric bill as a single person living in a 1 bedroom apartment had been getting ridiculously higher and higher, until it was disclosed to me that it was due to Green Mountain (they show up as ESCO on Con Edison bills in NYC). I was sold on the claim (by some hipsters that I now realize work on commission for getting people to sign up and are not held accountable for basically lying/saying whatever nonsense to get that sign up... because they aren't held accountable by the company) that I would save a small amount on my bill while helping the environment at the same time. Great, but turns out this is not the case. They left out the critical bit of information that after 3 months your rate will DOUBLE. Literally.
I can't believe these criminals are allowed to operate and take advantage of people. Laws are needed against this and count me in if there is a class action lawsuit in the works because their predatory tactics are out of hand and lots of people are reporting mysterious and sudden hikes in their bill (notably post 2020). And green mountain's sneaky "ESCO" charge is behind that. This company is based on a bait-and-switch scam. Beware.
This company is a scam that takes advantage of people who care about green energy/climate change. They lure you in with a fixed energy supply rate for a short term. Then they'll quietly jack it up to almost double. I switched to Green Mountain Energy after being approached by a sales person in a Best Buy. He said I would help save the environment and have more stable, probably cheaper energy bills. I knew it sounded too good to be true, but the website seemed legitimate and I wanted to help the environment.
The following summer, my energy bill for my tiny 1 bedroom apartment crept up to almost $400 PER MONTH. They had started charging me 16.9 cents/kwh, nearly DOUBLE what Con Edison was charging for that time period. And if you contact them to complain, they'll say too bad, and it will take you 1-2 billing cycles to get off of them. There's a special place in you know where for companies who give green energy a bad name by running an energy supply extortion racket. They make people wary of climate change initiatives. I hope New York state makes this practice illegal because this company should not exist and its owners should be sued. Stay away. Do not do business with Green Mountain Energy under any circumstances.
My charges from Green Mountain have been astronomical for my little apartment. So after 2 months as a customer I called to ask why. First they told me that in order to avoid a $150 change fee to another plan I should adapt my lifestyle to fit the plan I mistakenly signed up for by running the dishwasher and washer and doing my baking at night. Then they offered to switch me to a lower per-kwh plan with no change fee if I extended my service to 2 or 3 years. Then they said the best they could do with no change fee was to switch me to a fixed-monthly plan that deferred but still eventually billed me for these astronomical rates. I immediately switched to another provider and contested the $150 disconnect fee they billed me for through my credit card. Get TXU or Reliant instead.
I had Green Mountain for electric for 2 years. I should of never renewed after the first year. My electric bill was $300-$400 every month for 1 person at home. I had new insulation put in attic, and also had my AC unit checked, after I switched electric companies my bill is now averaging no more than $150 a month. Since my bill was so high every month I went on deferred payment plan. Once I was off contract with them I switched electric companies. They gave me a payment plan to pay a final bill ($543). After I paid the first payment I received a phone call that they would not honor the payment plan set up and if I didn't pay a minimum of $67 a week they would send it to collections. I have not paid bill late so not sure why they decided to not honor payment plan we set up. If I could give negative stars I would.
I've been trying to pay my bill for two days. Website is worthless. Keeps me in a spin. I have solar in Texas, and they are the only (or one of very few) that will do net metering. Let me tell you, after their "credit" for my solar generation, I'm paying about 10% more than when I paid a lower rate, and received NO credit back into the grid for my power generated. Their rate is exceedingly higher. Need some competitors, that provide both service and aggressive pricing. Being environmentally conscious should be more expensive!
My spouse wanted to add me into account as a joint representative. We contacted the customer service on the website. Then he told us to call the customer service. It couldn't be completed over chat. The customer service only works from 8 AM - 5 PM from Mon-Fri. After finding sometimes in the middle of working time to call them. They said NO! It couldn't be done. Only 1 person on the account. It's ridiculous!
My electric bill doubled, normally it's about 50 dollars a month. Now it's 120 for 3/4 of a month. I will cancel my account as soon as possible. I feel they take advantage of people's willingness to help the environment.
I was a customer of Green Mountain for about 3 years, starting from the time I purchased my house and got service. When I started, my per kWh rate was about $0.01 or so lower than the area's primary energy provider. I wasn't lied to, but something you should understand if you live in a deregulated power market is that when you are asked if you want to use an alternative energy provider the operators you speak to are carefully restricted as to how they can respond to questions. In some sense this makes sense, because otherwise you could have operators that work for the primary supplier bad mouthing other options, which wouldn't be fair. That said, it also means they can't supply some important information about options they present to you, which is how I got taken advantage of by Green Mountain.
When I was presented the option, I knew enough to ask if the price was a "teaser" rate, meaning that the true price was higher than what I would start at. I was told no, that what I was being offered was the regular rate. Here's the sneaky part though. When they say it's the regular rate, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the rate they charge every customer, it only means the price won't increase during your contractual period, typically a year. So what happened to me is that almost immediately after my first year the company began scamming me.
That's a hard accusation, so here's what I mean by it: when they are defending themselves, companies like Green Mountain will tell you that after your contract period expires, prices may "fluctuate" with the market. Most people hear fluctuate and think 'up and down', but that doesn't actually have to be true for them to use the word. After my initial year, Green Mountain began raising rates by about $0.03 per kWh every six to eight months. Always an increase, and always by about the same amount. It doesn't take a genius to figure out what their strategy was. They know many, and I would argue most, people don't scrutinize every bill. We get a lot of bills every month, and getting into the weeds on each and every one of them would be draining and time consuming, so we scan our bills to see if they look 'about right'.
Green Mountain is taking advantage of that aspect of human nature to slowly scam you out of hundreds or thousands of dollars. Their hope is clearly that by increasing in small increments over quasi-random time periods that they can sneak the increases past your monthly bill scan, like the proverbial frog in the pot of water. They want to boil you, but they know full well that if they try to do it all at once you'll drop them like a scalding hot pot handle, so instead they just make little changes designed to slip under your notice.
Unfortunately this strategy is not unique; you see it in a wide swath of monthly services these days, particularly if you are older because companies know that older customers are less likely to carefully scrutinize bills. My mother, for example, has her Internet and cable TV bill increase almost every three to six months unless I call and threaten to switch services to keep her bill from increasing. And I have had to tell her to hang up on calls from her providers after a negotiation because I found that after I negotiated a new price the company would call within a month and try to confuse her with some offer that nullified the regular service rate.
It's a disgusting but popular strategy in any market that isn't regulated. In my case, my Green Mountain electrical charges increased four times over two years from just below parity with the local energy provider to just slightly more than double, and I have zero doubt they would have continued that trend for as long as they could. While I admit it wasn't illegal, I would argue that their behavior was very intentionally deceitful and opportunistic, which meets my definition of a scammer. That said, you will often see defenses of companies like Green Mountain, whether real or fake I couldn't guess, that fall into one of the following:
1. "Sure they regularly increase prices, but it's on you as the consumer to keep track of that and if you call them they'll reset the rate and contractual time period." Boiled down this argument is 'It's all your fault if you get taken advantage of because I found a way to not get taken advantage of'. This is a facile and callous argument that assumes that because you have the time, energy, and mental wherewithal to find the loopholes that everyone else should as well. By this argument, if I have never paid income tax because I studied tax law and found obscure ways to avoid paying my share, the system is still completely fair even if you end up having to pay more because me, and people like me, found ways out of paying our share. Some people would actually agree with that logic, but it strikes me as the kind of thing people say until they find themselves hurt by being on the wrong side of the equation.
2. "I don't mind paying more if it helps the environment." Neither do I, within reason, but that isn't what's happening here. If the price increases were just to cover the gap between industry standard and green power generation costs, there would be a regular or average price that might fluctuate slightly but would otherwise be relatively stable. That isn't what's happening here. This is a systematic attempt to keep increasing prices and gouge as much as they can from customers without alerting them to what's going on, while trying to hide that reality behind a camouflage of 'going green'. Somewhere some elderly people are getting charged triple or quadruple standard costs because they don't have the capacity to catch on to what Green Mountain is doing to them, and I find that reality repugnant.
3. "Maybe they are gouging a little, but they are pushing forward the transition from fossil fuel to green energy." No, they absolutely are not. Beyond some token programs, the extra money they make isn't used to further the transition of our power grid, it's used to make investors wealthy by using tactics that we would otherwise complain about but might give a pass to here because of our emotional connection to the concept of "green energy". Making a profit is not a sin, but how you make it is important no matter how noble sounding the rationale.
Anyway, that's my complaint about Green Mountain. I think that they use highly deceptive and opportunistic business practices designed to make them appear like a noble option when they are really just taking advantage of people's desire to do something good. I'd strongly recommend avoiding becoming a customer of this company.
Green Mountain Energy author review by ConsumerAffairs Research Team
Green Mountain Energy is an electricity company in Texas focused on eco-friendly energy. The company offers electricity via renewable energy sources such as solar, wind and geothermal power.
Eco-friendly: Green Mountain is focused on providing electricity that comes from renewable energy sources. Consumers interested in eco-friendly alternatives to other electricity providers will appreciate Green Mountain.
Plans: Green Mountain Energy provides a different selection of plans, including the LITE-UP TEXAS Low Income Discount Plan, which helps qualified residents in Texas with electricity discounts in May, June, July, August and September.
Rewards: Green Mountain offers customers who sign up for their plan rewards, including gifts like the Nest thermostat.
Cost: Buying electricity generated from cleaner energy sources can be more expensive than buying energy from traditional energy sources such as coal or natural gas.
Fees: Green Mountain Energy charges some additional fees, including a fee for opening an account and a fee for closing an account.
Green Mountain Energy Company Information
- Company Name:
- Green Mountain Energy
- Year Founded:
- 300 West 6th Street, Suite 1600
- Postal Code:
- United States
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