The authority that regulates utilities in the state of Connecticut is launching an investigation into Eversource rate increases.
Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said Wednesday that the leadership of the General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee and the Legislative leadership as a whole sent a letter asking PURA to suspend the rate increases associated with the Eversource delivery charge that went into effect on July 1.
Some Eversource customers concerned about their recent electric bill from Eversource say it’s the most they’ve ever been charged.
The company said a scorching summer is one of the main reasons people are paying more for electricity. They say it’s largely being driven by people using more electricity with more people working from home and people cranking up the air conditioning.
"We understand and appreciate the efforts expressed by our legislators to address the high bill concerns from customers. We’ve recently received a copy of the Energy and Technology Committee’s letter and are reviewing it. We will consider any and all options we may have," an Eversource spokesperson said Wednesday.
The company previously explained what the delivery costs mean for customers.
“First of all, there is money for us so we can continue to give you a strong and reliable electric system. A portion of that, those delivery system charges, go to us so we can do the work we need to do. On top of that, there are state programs. There are taxes, both on the state and federal level. There are all kinds of fees that are built into that side of the bill," Eversource Spokesperson Mitch Gross said.
Starting July 1, some of those delivery items did go up. Those include charges that Eversource is passing along including what’s called the Non-Bypassable Federally Mandated Congestion Charge which almost doubled to about three cents per kilowatt-hour.
The company said delivery fees are largely based on usage as well as taxed and fees.
Eversource said that fee mostly went up due to payments associated with the state-approved power purchase agreements for the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant. They say those agreements were entered into as a result of legislation.
All changes are approved by state regulators.
“No adjustment can occur to your bill without review and approval by state regulators, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. We must run everything by them before you see anything change on your bill," Gross said.
PURA said it accepted the letter from lawmakers as a formal motion for reconsideration and “expects to expeditiously rule on the motion after considering comments received by other stakeholders and members of the public.”
PURA is urging Connecticut residents to contact their utility company if they need assistance with their electric bills to see if they are eligible for a financial hardship protection program or to enroll in a COVID-19 Payment Program
Customers could also contact PURA’s consumer services representatives with questions or complaints, which will be part of the open investigation.
You can reach PURA’s Education and Outreach Unit by phone at 1-800-382-4586 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.