In 1996, New York began deregulating the energy industry with the goal of introducing competition and lowering energy prices for both businesses and individual users. This survey examines the experiences and opinions of New Yorkers age 50 and older regarding two aspects of energy deregulation: consumer protections and costs. It explores marketing issues and changing energy providers.
Key findings include:
- More than 80% of the surveyed New Yorkers believe it is important for citizens to have the same consumer protection "rights" when they contract with a private energy company for their gas and/or electric services as they had with their public utility.
- More than 80% support pending legislation to provide New York state citizens with consumer protections in this regard.
- More than half of those surveyed have had their energy bills increase over the past three years, and more than 40% find it difficult to pay their energy bills.
Between January 7 and 22, 2002, 800 randomly selected age 50+ New York residents were interviewed by phone by Opinion Dynamics Corporation. The report was prepared by Susan L. Silberman, Ph.D., of AARP Knowledge Management. (15 pages)