The Connecticut House of Representatives passed a bill Wednesday that would require regulators to create a performance-based system tied to penalties and rate increases to hold Connecticut's utility companies accountable.
Part of the bill requires electric companies to compensate customers if power remains out after a certain amount of time.
While the name is never said in the bill, it's clear from lawmakers that much of what's in it is aimed at Eversource.
"This utility bill was brought forward because we were engaged in what would be considered the perfect storm," Rep. Charlie Ferraro (R), ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee said.
That perfect storm described by lawmakers was the collision of a pandemic, increased electric bill costs, and widespread power outages following Tropical Storm Isaias.
During special session Wednesday, House members debated the legislation, HB7006, known as the Take Back Our Grid Act.
It would require that the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) create a performance-based rating. They'd measure a company's performance in several aspects including safety, reliability, emergency response and affordability.
PURA would take that evaluation to consider things like rate increases.
"Eversource and UI and other utilities will be held responsible and accountable if the customer is without service for more than 96 hours," Ferraro explained.
After that, electric companies will be required to give customers a daily $25 credit on their bill. Also after four days, they could receive up to $250 in compensation for spoiled food and medication.
Some lawmakers questioned bringing up the bill during special session instead of regular session. They questioned concerns about unintended consequences, like further driving up electric rates, and added that the bill feels hastily done.
In a statement issued before the vote, Eversource said "we continue to talk with legislators about the proposal and how it will affect our customers."
With the bill passing by a large majority in the House, it now heads to the Senate, which will hold special session Thursday.