Electricity cost increases

Posted on July 28, 2020


Many of my constituents in Cheshire have reached out to my office with complaints about recent increases for electricity, charged by Eversource.

In October of 2017, the legislature passed PA 17-3 in special session to enable the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to procure up to 12.3 million kWh annually from certain zero-carbon generating sources, including nuclear. Proponents argued that this bill was necessary to prevent the closure of the Millstone nuclear power plant. Additionally, they claimed it would save thousands of high-paying jobs, and help the state meet its long-term goals to reduce carbon emissions in the state.

During the debate on the House floor, I noted that the bill upset the natural balance of market forces, and improperly gave a quasi-monopoly to Millstone. Further, that this bill, if passed, would lead to increased electricity costs for Connecticut consumers, including my constituents in Cheshire. I was concerned then, as I am now, about the strain these unexpected cost increases place on you. Likewise, I wondered then why the legislature would pass a bill that locked the state into a long-term contract at a higher rate than was available on the energy market at the time. The bill passed with 75 voting yes, 66 voting no, and 10 members not voting at all.

As a member of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee in 2017, I had sat through the public hearings, and read the reams of written testimony submitted. In the end, I was one of the few Republicans that voted against this bill.

On June 26, 2020, the Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved the rate increase. It is my belief that the increases we are seeing today are in direct correlation to this bill.

Breaking down your electric bill:

An electric bill has two components, the supply charge and the delivery charge.

  • The supply charge (the cost of the power for customers on the standard offer rate and serves as a pass through cost) decreased from 9.414 cents per kWh to 7.375 cents per kWh – about a $14.27 per month decrease for an average residential home (700 kWh).
  • The delivery charge (covers costs including operational expenses, renewable energy contracts and mandates required by the state) increased about $19.85 per month for an average residential home (700 kWh)

It is my understanding that the delivery charge rate increases were due to:

  • Reduced New England Transmission loads on high voltage power lines (necessitated increase in rates from 2.601 cents per kWh to 3.785 cents per kWh), and
  • Mandated power purchase agreement for Millstone Nuclear (increased rates from 1.585 cents per kWh to 3.048 cents per kWh)

Energy Saving tips:

  • To help keep electric costs down, the public can shop EnergizeCT for lower rates online at: https://www.energizect.com/compare-energy-suppliers
  • Keep air conditioner filters and coils clean and don’t block air flow
  • Conserve energy by using larger appliances early in the morning or late at night when the demand for electricity is reduced