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Lewis, Massachusetts Senate pass consumer protection bills

Sen. Jason Lewis, along with colleagues in the state Senate, helped pass three consumer protection bills. FILE PHOTO

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The following was submitted by the office of Sen. Jason Lewis:

State Sen. Jason Lewis joined his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate to protect residents and consumers from predatory tactics and promote fairer interactions with businesses in the state, passing three bills that would ban third-party residential electric suppliers, enhance the state’s protections for car buyers, and mandate home insurers cover residential oil spill damages.

“I’m very pleased that the state Senate is taking action to better protect Massachusetts residents from businesses that target consumers with scams and unfair, deceptive tactics,” said Lewis. “This is especially true of third-party residential electric suppliers that have scammed hundreds of millions of dollars from seniors, low-income people, and other residents of the Commonwealth.”

An Act relative to electric ratepayer protections bans third-party electric suppliers from enrolling new individual residential customers in contracts and protects residents from unfair and deceptive practices in the competitive electric supply market.

According to the Attorney General’s Office and the Department of Public Utilities, Massachusetts’ consumers lost more than $577 million to competitive electric suppliers between July 2015 and June 2023. The industry uses deceptive advertising and marketing techniques to prey upon vulnerable consumers.

On the same day, the Senate also passed two additional consumer protection bills. An Act relative to the remediation of home heating oil releases mandates that insurers in Massachusetts provide residential owners with insurance for damage to home and property caused by a leak in a residential liquid fuel tank or home fuel supply lines. An Act modernizing protections for consumers in automobile transactions creates legal safeguards for residents who purchase used and leased cars in Massachusetts by adding new consumer protections in the car buying process.

These three bills now head to the Massachusetts House of Representatives for further consideration.

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