CT House and Senate Republicans Offer Ideas to Provide Ratepayers Relief on Electric Bills  

Posted on February 23, 2024


With steep electric rate hikes on the horizon, Connecticut House and Senate Republicans today unveiled a set of policy goals which aim to bring about long-term rate reduction, long-term stability, and short-term relief for consumers.

“Connecticut ratepayers are frustrated, and rightly so,” Senate Republican Leader Stephen Harding said.  “They feel the pain every month when their electric bill comes, and that pain is only getting worse.  Our goal as lawmakers should be to pass policies which put consumers first. People on Main Street don’t see that happening under the current one-party rule. That is unacceptable to us as Republicans. We need real reform, and these solutions represent that real relief and stability. We hope they gain bipartisan support.”

It’s time for our Democrat colleagues to level with Connecticut residents. They would have maxed out ratepayers believe that utilities are the sole boogeyman in the state’s energy crisis. The reality, though, is that decisions made by government are a driver in the high rates we all pay—including the recently proposed increase,” House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora said. “What’s required right now is not only a change of approach in the legislature, but also a more aggressive posture from the Governor, whose hands-off approach in the three-way squabble involving the legislature, the utilities, and his regulators has grown stale. He needs to lead on this issue, which touches every aspect of ratepayers lives.”

“Electricity costs in Connecticut are too damn high,” Sen. Ryan Fazio, Ranking Senator on the Energy and Technology Committee said. “One reason for that is that current government policies are inflating, rather than limiting, the cost of energy for individuals and families. We need to change the direction of our energy policies to stop future increases in electricity costs and eventually reduce them. Connecticut Republicans have a plan to reduce energy costs for every family in our state and we’ll fight for it this year and for years to come.”

Many laudable energy goals are being considered, but we must weigh the accompanying policy decisions against residents’ ability to afford them. Ratepayers deserve better from their government and the ideas discussed today are a good step forward in saving them money. Utilizing unallocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds would help mitigate the proposed rate increase that is partially-attributable to a problem created by government— the extended shut-off moratorium. To protect the interests of all ratepayers, it’s critical that our regulators work independently of the strenuous influence of a politically driven state agency. We are all experiencing some form of financial adversity, which is why it’s important now more than ever to establish a transparent path for the rate-setting process— one that ultimately provides confidence and stability to the residents and businesses that call Connecticut home,” Rep. Billy Buckbee, Ranking Republican on the Energy and Technology Committee said.

The Republicans are proposing to:

  • limit all future Power Purchase Agreements so that no contract can be for more than 100% over the wholesale electric market price 
  • provide relief to ratepayers by using unspent ARPA money to pay down the portion of the proposed Revenue Adjustment Mechanism adjustment that is attributed to arrearages as a result of the shut off moratorium
  • redefine Class I renewable energy sources to include all forms of hydropower and all nuclear power to lower the cost of these energy sources and bring relief for ratepayers
  • separate the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)
  • study ways to increase natural gas supply in the New England region
  • study moving public policy charges off of ratepayer bills and into the budget