Sen. Fazio Offers Ideas to Lower CT Electricity Costs

December 15, 2022

Sen. Fazio today sent the following letter to the governor:

I write in appreciation of your recent remarks urging the U.S. Department of Energy to help Connecticut get access to hydropower coming out of Quebec. As you noted, access has been prevented up until now by decisions made in New Hampshire and Maine against building out transmission lines to the south.

Building out vital midstream and downstream energy infrastructure is imperative for Connecticut to create a reliable and affordable energy portfolio. We also must work with the federal government and other states to build out natural gas pipeline capacity to access cheap natural gas from Pennsylvania. Natural gas is affordable generally and much cleaner than coal or oil. As our economy attempts to transition from more ICE vehicles to more electric vehicles, finding an affordable base load of energy will be a precondition for our economy to transition from more internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. This is the only realistic way to achieve that transition at scale and keep the lights on.

We also need national intervention to suspend or end the Jones Act shipping law that makes it impossible for northeastern states like ours to “import” domestic heating oil, diesel, and gasoline during winter months from US Gulf refineries.

Please let me know if I can be of any support in assisting your administration from advancing these three vital energy goals at the state, regional, and national levels.

I also want you to let relay several policy proposals I have made and will introduce again in bills this session to address our state’s underlying cost drivers and reduce rates for consumers in the long run:

First, give PURA regulatory independence from DEEP to check the regulated utilities more effectively and protect consumers.

Second, give PURA more authority over decoupling and settlements between our utilities and ratepayers.

Third, reduce or eliminate the policy charges embedded in our electricity bills that equate to over $260 per year of costs for the average ratepayer. Fourth, simplify the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard and include more forms of clean energy like nuclear power.