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PURA Approves Eversource’s $103M Isaias Settlement

Posted on November 5, 2021

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) recently approved (by a vote of 2-1) Eversource’s Settlement Agreement. Chairwoman Marisa Gillett was the sole dissenting vote.  A copy of the settlement can be read here (link embedded) and Chairwoman Gillett’s dissenting opinion may be viewed here (link embedded).

The settlement agreement consists of the following elements:

  • $65 million in direct bill credits to Eversource customers. The $65 million will be distributed in December and January. The credits equate to approximately $17.12 of credits per month for two months for an average household with a 700-kilowatt hour monthly usage.
  • $10 million in customer assistance. PURA will exercise its discretion to allocate funds in a way that provides the greatest financial benefit to both hardship and non-hardship customers carrying arrearages in in support of COVID 19 payment plan.
  • Eversource agrees to withdraw its appeal of the $28.4 million penalty for its deficient tropical storm Isaias response and will continue to pay that as a monthly credit to customers  through August 31, 2022.
  • The parties agree to forgo the interim rate decrease contemplated in the “Take Back the Grid” Act and the $135 million  Rate on Equity (ROE) reductions ordered in the Authority’s Storm Isaias Decision. Eliminating the reductions in ROE allows Eversource to reduce its penalty payments owed to rate payers by nearly $60 million.
  • Freeze base distribution rates until 2024. Other rate mechanisms such as the retail rate components, rate reconciling mechanisms, grid-modernization initiatives, are not subject to the rate freeze.
  • Reopen the Waterbury Service center to permanent staffing of overhead and underground line resources,
  • Eversource recognizes the need to hire and train additional line workers support personnel for blue sky operations and storm response (expected to be addressed in another docket),
  • A commitment and acknowledgement from Eversource that its corporate governance needs meaningful reform to promote local control,
  • Enhancements to provide greater local control.
    • Eversource will create an executive position for a new President dedicated solely to electric operations in the state of CT who shall report directly to the Chief Operating Officer of Eversource.  Eversource agrees  not to recover from ratepayers the base and variable pay compensation of the new President until after 2024.
    • Eversource will retain at least one CT resident as an independent member on the Eversource Board of Trustees.
    • Eversource will expand its Board of Directors from 4 to 7 members to include three independent directors, at least two of whom shall be domiciled in CT.
  • Eversource agrees to host semi-annual meeting for industrial and large commercial customers to answer questions and discuss developments at Eversource.