It’s National Consumer Protection Week – A time to celebrate the importance of competition and the right to choose
March 6 officially marks the start of the Federal Trade Commission’s National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW). Promoted by other federal, state, and local agencies, consumer and national advocacy organizations, the FTC will spend March 6-12 sharing information with Americans on how they can avoid scams, identity theft and other consumer protection issues.
The Retail Energy Supply Association (RESA) joins these agencies and organizations in promoting consumer protection. RESA believes that consumer protection and education go together and consumer education is the cornerstone of a well-functioning, competitive marketplace.
Retail energy markets allow consumers to choose among competitive suppliers vying for their business. This provides energy consumers with many options of energy management, efficiency, renewable “green” energy and price. Just as most consumers can choose from a variety of Internet or telephone service providers, consumers in many states can now choose an electricity and natural gas supplier for their home or business. This is a significant change over traditional utility service, in which an energy consumer has no choice but to purchase from a monopoly utility service provider offering few or no options of energy management tools, renewable energy and efficiency, and pricing.
RESA members recognize the critical role that substantive, practical, fair and workable consumer protection and marketing practices play in promoting a robust and sustainable competitive retail market that provides value-added products and services to customers. RESA member companies are committed to meeting and promoting a set of guiding principles addressing consumer protection and marketing practices. To highlight the power of choice, RESA has developed a Consumer Education Guide to assist residential and small business consumers.
The education imparted to consumers produces a powerful effect. Driving the demand for green products and competitive pricing, consumer engagement has revolutionized the energy marketplace. Retail energy suppliers now offer a myriad of products as a result of consumer demand. National Consumer Protection Week is a time to celebrate the engagement of the educated consumer and to recognize the important role of competition and the right to make your own choices.