A Steep Rate Hike for Electricity Due to Increased Cost of Government Mandates

by Francisco Uranga, CT Examiner, April 19, 2024

Connecticut customers will pay significantly higher electric bills starting July 1, after a rate hike of more than 12 percent to pay for a doubling of charges stemming from government mandates including energy assistance, a shut-off moratorium and the Millstone purchase agreement. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved a rate increase on Wednesday for Eversource and United Illuminating. Together, the utilities serve 80 percent of the state’s residential customers. The hike resulted from the so-called Rate Adjustment Mechanism, an annual adjustment by which utilities request rate changes based on the cost of mandated public programs.

United Illuminating estimates that the rate increase will average $30 a month, depending on each user’s consumption, a 12 percent increase. Eversource had not yet estimated the impact, according to a company spokeswoman. The new rates will apply starting July 1 and will be in effect for 10 months or until a review in September.

PURA commissioners voted 2-1 in favor of the increase. The negative vote came from the agency’s chairwoman, Marissa Gillett. She suggested that the cost recovery should be staggered over two to three years rather than 10 months to soften the impact on consumers.

“Unfortunately, though, today’s decision by PURA is likely to place further financial strain on those that can least afford it, and it will also hit the pocketbooks of our business community in a particularly challenging way,” Gillett said in her defense.

Connecticut has one of the most expensive electric rates in the country. Among the reasons are high generation costs, a segment that is deregulated and where Connecticut has the disadvantage of being at the end of the natural gas pipeline, driving up prices, and public charges, which range from programs to encourage renewable energy to bill payment assistance for people with economic hardship, and the power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy’s Millstone nuclear power plant.
[Read the complete article at: https://ctexaminer.com/2024/04/19/state-regulators-approve-a-steep-rate-hike-for-electricity-due-to-a-doubling-cost-of-government-mandates]

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