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Bolinsky: Constituents still have opportunity to comment on Eversource Rate Hikes and Storm Response

Posted on September 3, 2020 by jdooley


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I want to let constituents know that the state’s Acting Consumer Counsel Richard E. Sobolewski announced that all Eversource customers will be provided another opportunity for public comment on Eversource Energy’s recent rate increases and related issues.

The additional public comment hearing comes following the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s (PURA) consideration of the Office of Consumer Counsel’s (OCC) Motion requesting further opportunity for live public comment on behalf of those ratepayers who may not have been able to attend the initial hearing. PURA heard initial comments from the public at a hearing on Eversource’s rate increase on August 24. Given the extended length of that hearing OCC expressed concerns that some consumers who wished to speak were unable to remain present until the public comment portion of the hearing.

“This will be the last opportunity for consumers to speak their mind on Eversource’s rate increases,” said Acting Consumer Counsel Sobolewski. “Public comment is crucially important for regulators to hear and all comments become an official part of the PURA record in this investigation. Too often the voice of the public is excluded from the regulatory process—I encourage every single Eversource customer to contact my office to register and ensure that PURA takes their input into account.”

The PURA public comment hearing will be held via Zoom on September 10, 2020 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. To register, all members of the public should submit their information to the OCC through this Online Registration Form. Likewise, consumers may contact the OCC via email at occ.info@ct.gov or by telephone at 860-827-2900. The direct link to the Zoom public comment hearing may be accessed at https://ctdeep.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcofuGqqj0uGdIzcn300ttCQqABLc9GBLOJ.

Following the receipt by consumers of higher than anticipated electricity bills in July, Governor Ned Lamont requested that PURA investigate recent rate increases by Eversource and The United Illuminating Company. The investigations of Eversource and United Illuminating are occurring in PURA Docket Nos. 20-01-01 and 20-01-02, respectively. OCC is actively participating in both proceedings to ensure that the perspective of electric ratepayers is adequately represented.

PURA is still accepting written public comment and those Eversource customers who wish to comment in writing are encouraged to submit their written comment to PURA via e-mail at pura.executivesecretary@ct.gov referencing Docket No. 20-01-01. Up to date information on upcoming hearings and registration information may be accessed on PURA’s Calendar of Events.

In addition, PURA has scheduled three upcoming public comment hearings for October 21st, 22nd, and 23rd at which time the public will have the opportunity to comment on Eversource and United Illuminating’s responses to Tropical Storm Isaias. Members of public seeking more information should contact PURA at the e-mail address above referencing Docket No. 20-08-03.

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The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) is the State of Connecticut’s advocate for consumers on issues relating to electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications. For more information, visit www.ct.gov/occ.