The state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has scheduled a public hearing for Monday, August 24, beginning at 10:00 a.m. This hearing is in response to PURA’s recent approval of Eversource’s request to increase its delivery rate. Between work-from-home orders and hot summer weather, customer electric bills were bound to be higher than usual. Raising rates on top of all this was not the right thing to do, which is why PURA subsequently suspended the increase pending further investigation. Eversource’s performance in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias removes even more legitimacy from the rate hike.
The August 24 hearing will take place on Zoom. PURA officials will be questioning Eversource representatives to determine whether or not the electric distribution company had been over-collecting revenues in the short term at the expense of its customers.
Public officials will be allowed to speak at the beginning of the hearing followed by the evidentiary portion of the proceedings. Members of the public will be invited to speak at the end. We expect to know more about timing for the public’s testimony closer to the hearing date. You may also submit written testimony to PURA at any time by emailing it to email@example.com.
To register for the Zoom meeting, click here.
The Meeting ID# is 927 7463 1605.
The hearing will also be streamed on Connecticut Network (CT-N).
The legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee has called for its own public hearing on Eversource’s storm management response, delivery rate increase, initiatives to improve the grid, and investment in powerline workers.
One way or another, we will get answers. I’m well aware that we held similar hearings in 2012 and 2013, and changed protocols and made new laws as a result. Clearly, there is more to find out now – and above all, more action to take. By itself, investigation does not solve anything. Eversource must not be allowed to treat its ratepayers as enemies.
As of this morning, Eversource tells us that 99 percent of its customers now have power, including Wilton, Norwalk, and Westport residents. If that’s true, it’s not enough, because I know that many of you don’t have power still. This must not be allowed to happen again.
While many of us have been frustrated with Eversource and its management in recent weeks, its employees and contractors deserve recognition and thanks for their work on the lines. Many of them have spent countless hours away from their own families while restoring power to hundreds of thousands of residents. They perform an essential and dangerous job, and I’m grateful for their help.