Ever get an offer in the mail that you felt was too good to be true? Residents of Yonkers, New York’s third-largest city, know just how you feel.
In early January, a letter arrived in Yonkers residents’ mailboxes from an outfit called Sustainable Westchester. It could easily have been mistaken for junk were it not for the city’s official seal in the lower right corner and a message in small print: “Please Do Not Discard. Official Notification.” Anyone who didn’t toss the letter in the recycling bin got the following message, framed as unambiguously great news: “The City is pleased to inform you that your household . . . will be automatically switched from the utility’s standard supply into the Westchester Power 100% Renewable supply on your first meter read date after 3/1/2022.”
Publishers Clearing House couldn’t have done better. The catch was buried deep in the fine print: Homeowners who don’t opt out will see an average increase of nearly 19% in the price of electricity, making it more expensive to keep the lights on.