Eversource has released a statement after receiving thousands of calls from customers about increases in their utility bills and says they will work one-on-one with customers to “manage and reduce their future bills.”
Thousands of people also reached out to NBC Connecticut with sticker shock over the cost of their Eversource bills amid the coronavirus pandemic and the authority that regulates utilities in the state is looking into the surge.
Eversource Responds to Increases in Customer Bills
Following is the full statement from Eversource:
Eversource is extending financial assistance and working one-on-one with customers to manage and reduce their future bills in response to this week’s concerns about higher-than-normal utility bills. The energy company fielded thousands of individual calls from customers this week and continues working to connect customers with energy efficiency and payment support solutions, including a no-fee, no-interest COVID-19 payment plan.
“We share the concerns of our customers and know that this is an unexpected cause of distress during an already challenging time,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “We’re committed to working one-on-one with customers to help reduce their energy bills and to provide flexible payment solutions. Our customer care number is 800-286-2000, and we’re here to help any customer who calls.”
In order to support customers facing financial hardship and other challenges due to COVID-19, Eversource worked with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to create a no-fee, no-interest COVID-19 Payment Program that is available to all customers who need it. Additionally, Eversource is expanding eligibility for
qualifying customers to the New Start program, which forgives overdue balances as customers make current payments to their bill.
The higher-than-normal bills that customers received this month were driven primarily by a significant increase in summer energy use and two recent fee increases added to the delivery component of the bill.
Energy bills often increase in the summer months, and this June was 13 degrees hotter than June 2019. Combined with the fact that many customers are staying home due to the pandemic and using air conditioners, fans and other appliances to stay cool, average residential energy use increased 26% over June of last year.
In addition, a state-mandated energy subsidy went into effect in July to support the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant’s continued operation. Also, another fee increased to support grid reliability and the safe operation of Eversource’s high-voltage transmission system.
“All customers who need assistance – even if they have never applied for or needed assistance before – should reach out to us,” said Conner. “We’re here and ready to help our customers.”
Customers seeking more information about available assistance are encouraged to call 800-286-2000. For more information about Eversource’s energy efficiency, payment plans and other customer support programs, please visit Eversource.com.
A protest is planned at Eversource at 2:30 p.m. Residents whose bills have increased are planning to protest.