Low Price was a Scam; Just Energy Pays $4 Million Settlement

If you were suspicious of salespeople trying to convince you to buy electricity from an alternative supplier, you were correct.

Just Energy Group Inc. and its affiliate have agreed to pay $4 million to settle allegations of deceptive marketing and sales that promised savings but charged significantly higher rates, entered consumers into agreements without their consent and charged costly termination fees, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced Tuesday.

“We allege this competitive supplier engaged in widespread and misleading conduct that lured consumers into costly contracts in the form of high electricity rates and termination fees,” Coakley said. “As residents in Massachusetts face rising electricity bills this winter, our office will continue to protect consumers from deceptive sales practices.”

Coakley’s office alleges Just Energy, through a third-party telemarketing vendor and door-to-door agents, engaged in deceptive marketing and sales that misled consumers into signing contracts based on attractive introductory pricing, only to later increase their electricity supply costs.

If you believe you were a victim, call the consumer hotline at (617) 727-8400.

Lobbyists convinced the legislature to permit “deregulation” of utilities nearly two decades ago, causing consolidation of providers, sale of electricity generating assets and less competition.

According to the settlement, Just Energy sales representatives allegedly failed to disclose complete and accurate pricing information to its customers by promising savings or representing that they could help consumers keep their electricity bills low. Instead, consumers were charged rates that were higher than the rates for the electricity supply provided by National Grid. Just Energy also allegedly induced elderly and non-native English speaking consumers by continuing to offer electricity supply services even after it became clear that they did not understand the terms of the proposed contract.

Consumers were allegedly switched from their distribution company to Just Energy without their authorization. Termination fees worth tens of thousands of dollars were allegedly charged to small business owners, even though they were never previously advised of the charges.

The AG’s Office alleges that Just Energy made false representations concerning its electricity products, including that its products would provide “green” or “renewable” energy at prices comparable to basic service, and that its products were offered as part of a state-run program. Just Energy also allegedly misled consumers about their affiliation with the customer’s utility company.

Under the terms of the settlement, Just Energy will pay a total of $4 million, including $3.8 million to an independent trust fund for purposes of making payments of restitution to certain consumers, and $200,000 to the commonwealth. Just Energy cooperated with the Attorney General’s investigation.

Just Energy has also agreed to waive all early termination fees for all residential customers on variable rate contracts, except those that are on introductory rates at the time of early termination. Just Energy is required to no longer make false representations in its marketing materials claiming that consumers will save money on electricity bills as a result of switching to its services. Just Energy has also agreed not to enroll low-income customers unless it guarantees savings to those customers, and will engage an independent monitor to ensure compliance and appropriate door-to-door sales operations in Massachusetts.


The AG’s Office has received more than 100 consumer complaints concerning Just Energy’s unfair and deceptive conduct.

One thought on “Low Price was a Scam; Just Energy Pays $4 Million Settlement

  1. They are getting over on Indiana residents as well. My husband signed up with them and I was wary. Next thing I know, our gas bills have doubled and now we are about to get our heat disconnected in the winter with 7 children and no way to pay our rediculously high gas bill!! Just energy should pay it!