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Ambit Energy customers to get refunds

Ambit Energy customers in Western New York will be getting refunds on their natural gas and electricity bills.

As a result of an investigation by New York State’s Department of Public Service, the Texas-based company will refund a total of $98,200 to 200 customers in Western New York (an average of $491). It’s part of a larger agreement that secured $950,700 for 1,566 customers across the state. Threatened by the state with the loss of its ability to operate here, Ambit agreed to issue the refunds.

The matter centers around the company’s customer disclosure statements and renewal notices. The DPS found Ambit had automatically renewed customer accounts, taking them from a guaranteed-savings plan to a much more expensive variable-rate plan. The amount of each refund depends on how long the customer was charged the higher rate, along with other factors.

There are hundreds of complaints about Ambit Energy on the Internet from customers who said their rates doubled or tripled without warning. Complainants also said they could not reach Ambit to make changes to their plans.