CONNECTICUT REPUBLICANS UNVEIL A BETTER WAY TO ENERGY AFFORDABILITY

Posted on January 18, 2023


On Tuesday, I joined fellow House and Senate Republicans in detailing a comprehensive House and Senate Republican Leaders detailed a comprehensive package of policy proposals to reduce the cost of electric bills and make energy more affordable over the long term.

The policies will reduce energy costs for CT families by over $362 million per year. In the long run, the plan will drive down costs by even more and implement important ratepayer protections against utilities.

The package of legislative proposals will address two major goals:

  1. Make energy more affordable and reliable, by reducing costs immediately as well as expanding and encouraging reliable and affordable generation over the long term; and
  2. Ensure strong oversight of utility companies to protect the best interest of ratepayers.

Energy costs along with inflation are making the lives on Connecticut families increasingly challenging, especially during the winter months. In the past, I have submitted testimony to sternly oppose any additional rate hikes, and also introduced an amendment back in the fall of 2020, to investigate alternative ways to distribute electricity in Connecticut. This was a concept for a bill that I raised in 2021 which would establish a task force to investigate utility companies in Connecticut. The bill would examine the costs and benefits of bringing alternative energy sources into the market to offer additional options for rate payers in Connecticut. Additionally, it would look at the possibility of municipal public utilities expanding their service area, specifically the costs of acquiring the electrical distribution infrastructure such as poles and wires. I introduced this same bill this year, and I am hoping this will be a priority for the Energy and Technology Committee.

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.

 

 

 

 

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