“Really disappointing.” Do you agree?

April 20, 2018

(I will not stop speaking out for overburdened CT ratepayers and demanding accountability from Eversource! Please read and share the attached article and send me your comments at [email protected] – thank you.)

Eversource Customers To See Rates Rise Under PURA Decision

Hartford Courant

About 1.2 million Connecticut consumers who get their power from Eversource will be paying $5.40 per month more in the coming year under rate increases just granted by state regulators, but officials say it could have been a lot worse.

Eversource originally asked for a three-year, $337 million increase in electricity rates.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority cut back the request to $124.7 million for the 2018-20 period.

The first year rate increase amounts to a 3.8 percent hike. In the second year, consumers will see a .78 percent increase, with Eversource rates rising by .73 percent in the third year.

The utility argued that it needed big rate hikes to compensate for lower electricity demand and sales, as well as costs to cover infrastructure, higher taxes and other expenses.

“There’s no such thing as a good rate increase,” state Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz, whose office was involved in the decision, said Thursday. “But we feel pretty good that this was probably the best we could get.”

Sen. Len Suzio, R-Meriden, disagreed, categorizing PURA’s approval as “really disappointing.”

Suzio said he’s glad Eversource’s original request was cut by more than half, “but that’s not nearly enough.”

“Our energy rates are still the second highest in the nation,” he said.

A settlement reached in January as a result of the federal tax cuts approved in 2017 also helped reduce the size of the Eversource rate increase, cutting the requested amount by approximately $55 million.

Suzio cited that reduction as one reason he feels PURA should have made further cuts in Eversource’s request.

Suzio said Eversource has “a terrible record” in terms of “lax billing practices” that don’t protect electricity customers from fraudulent or misleading practices by third-party suppliers.

Eversource officials have denied that their billing practices are misleading and have said it is up to state regulators to monitor and discipline third-party electricity suppliers.

(Full article: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-eversource-granted-1247m-rate-hike-20180419-story.html)