Posted on January 18, 2023
(HARTFORD) — On January 17th, State Representative Charles Ferraro (R-117) and Representative Kathy Kennedy (R-119) joined House and Senate Republicans in releasing a comprehensive plan to combat record energy expenses in Connecticut. The package of proposals presents a long-term solution to reducing the costs of electric bills, ultimately making state energy programs more affordable. More specifically, the plan consists of policies which will serve to lower energy costs for CT families by more than $362 million per year, saving the average household over $210 next year.
Looking ahead, this package will draw down costs and implement significant ratepayer protections against utilities. An outline of the plan’s goals can be found below:
- To make energy more affordable and reliable by reducing costs immediately as well as expanding and encouraging reliable and affordable generation over the long term
- To ensure strong oversight of utility companies to protect the best interest of ratepayers
“It is absolutely my greatest priority in this legislative session to find a path forward in Connecticut which balances our state’s energy goals of affordability, sustainability, and reliability. The rising cost of energy has burdened all residents, especially those on fixed incomes, and there are steps that we can take to reduce that burden,” Rep. Ferraro (R-117) said. “Serving on the Energy & Technology Committee, my imperative is to ensure that any legislation presented to this committee meets those standards and works to make energy more affordable in Connecticut.”
“If we don’t move forward with this plan, we will be leaving people in the dark figuratively and literally,” added Rep. Kennedy (R-119). “We are offering a more transparent and affordable approach to energy rate regulations and more active independent oversight. With Connecticut having the most expensive electric bills in the continental United States, now is the time to relieve our residents and families of these unnecessarily high home heating and electricity costs.”
As stated, Connecticut ranks number one in the continental United States as the most expensive state for electricity (Source: Energy Information Administration via Ownerly October 2021 through September 2022). This January, our state utilities implemented shocking rate increases, raising everyone’s electric bills by at least 43 percent at a time when families already face historic inflation.
The proposals detailed by Senate and House Republicans include:
- Moving charges resulting from public policy decisions from ratepayer bills to the state budget (estimated savings: $362 million annually).
- Bringing all clean energy sources into the state’s green energy strategy by adding nuclear power and all sources of hydro power to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program.
- Improving the Standard Service Procurement process by examining the differing ways CT’s large utilities, small municipal owned utilities, and other states all procure power.
- Restoring independence to utility rate regulators by separating PURA from DEEP.
- Giving PURA more discretion and flexibility in decoupling to protect ratepayers.
- Establishing utility rate case oversight to ensure that resolutions of rate cases and settlements are made in the best interest of ratepayers and not for other political considerations.