Electricity Rate Increase

Posted on July 31, 2020 by admin


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Many of you have reached out to my office recently with concerns regarding electricity increases charged by Eversource as of July 1. I am writing to reassure you that I have heard your concerns, and I have taken action.

I joined my colleagues in sending a letter to Marissa Paslick Gillett, Chairman of Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA); John W. Betkoski III, Vice Chairman of PURA; and Michael Caron, Utility Commissioner of PURA calling for an immediate suspension to these rate increases and also demanding a legislative hearing so that a detailed explanation of these seemingly excessive charges is provided.

Click on the image below to access the letter sent to PURA officials:

To provide you with some more background information, 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. At the time, many believed that this bill was necessary to prevent the closure of the Millstone nuclear power plant, and that it would save thousands of high-paying jobs, and help the state meet its long-term goals to reduce carbon emissions in the state.

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

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

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I also want to share the following reply from PURA that my colleagues and I received yesterday as a result of our criticisms regarding the recent electricity cost increase from Eversource:

PURA to Investigate Eversource Delivery Fee Increases

(New Britain, CT – July 29, 2020) – Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced today that it is in receipt of a letter from the leadership of the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee and the Legislative leadership as a whole in which the signatories request that PURA suspend the rate increases associated with the Eversource delivery charge that went into effect on July 1, 2020.

PURA has 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.

PURA continues to be mindful of the public health emergency and 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. More information on COVID-19 efforts can be found on PURA’sCOVID Actions webpage.

Customers may also 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 atpura.information@ct.gov.

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As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns pertaining to state government.

Sincerely,
State Representative John Piscopo