By David Madden

By David Madden

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — New Jersey is going after three energy supply companies that allegedly duped consumers into switching electricity providers.  Officials say there are hundreds of victims throughout the state.

Acting state attorney general John Hoffman says promises were made but not kept by Systrum Energy, Palmco Power NJ, and HIKO Energy.

“There was a real accumulation of complaints against these three third-party energy providers for some deceptive and misleading advertising and solicitations,” Hoffman said today.

Hoffman says the companies, acting individually, claimed rates would go down for those who switched.  Instead, they went up.

In some cases, consumers were switched without their knowledge or consent.

The state is seeking restitution, fines, and more, along with changes to their business practices.

Hoffman insists that most third-party companies are on the up-and-up, but says consumers should check on any offer to cut their utility bills before agreeing to switch.

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