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Information Regarding Rate Hikes, Eversource, & PURA

Posted on July 31, 2020 by agallagher


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Many of you have reached out to my office about Eversource’s recent unreasonable and debilitating electric rate hikes. As we face a global pandemic, and high unemployment, now is not a time to be drastically raising rates on residents and businesses.

During a Special Session in October of 2017, the legislature passed PA 17-3

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.

While I was not elected to office at the time, after reviewing the language of the bill, as well as the constituent testimony, I would not have supported this bill.

I am supporting a bipartisan effort calling for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to suspend the increase to components of the Eversource delivery rate that increased July 1st. This letter was signed by all caucus leaders and the leadership of the Energy Committee.

In response to this letter, PURA published an announcement that they have “accepted the letter as a formal motion for reconsideration in the associated docketed proceeding, Docket Number 20-01-01, and expects to expeditiously rule on the motion after considering comments received by other stakeholders and members of the public.

On June 26, 2020, the Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved the rate increase.

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, which 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)

If you would like to provide comment on the rate increase:

Customers may contact PURA’s consumer services representatives with any inquiries or complaints related to this matter, which will be accounted for as part of the open investigation.

PURA’s Education and Outreach Unit receives such correspondence by phone, toll-free in Connecticut at 1-800-382-4586 or by email at pura.information@ct.gov.

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

If you are currently having trouble paying your utility bill:

PURA urges Connecticut customers to contact their utility company if they need assistance with their electric bills by inquiring whether they are eligible for a financial hardship protection program or to enroll in a COVID-19 Payment Program offered by their utility company.

 

EVERSOURCE ASSISTANCE

I will keep you updated on any hearings scheduled, and share the details, so you may follow along.

Please continue to reach me at my legislative office so I may help you with any needs you may have.

Sincerely,


State Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco, 80th CT General Assembly District
Gale.Mastrofrancesco@housegop.ct.gov
(800)842-1423