(photos) Sen. Fazio optimistic about bipartisan reception to energy plan

February 24, 2023

For Immediate Release

Sen. Fazio: Testimony confirms that energy plan will cut costs and improve reliability for consumers

Sen. Ryan Fazio, Ranking Senator on state legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee, today said he is encouraged by support for a bill he co-wrote which will reduce energy costs for Connecticut families, strengthen oversight of the utilities, and improving reliability for everyone. The bill – Senate Bill 123 – now awaits a vote by the committee.

When asked about the bill by Sen. Fazio during a Feb. 22 public hearing, Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Chair Marissa Gillett said, “I think it carries the potential for significant cost savings over time…our first take on the language is that the changes to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) outlined in the bill may generate savings to ratepayers and have a sizable impact.”

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong submitted written testimony to the committee to note that he supports the bill’s attempt to increase visibility into the drivers of electric costs. “We receive voluminous consumer complaints expressing frustration and confusion with electric bills,” Tong wrote. The bill “will provide useful information into how to make electric bills more understandable and transparent for consumers.”

A dance and fitness company owner told the committee that “as a (very) small business owner for the past 17 years, my energy bills are becoming more expensive than my rent payment. I will soon have to close my doors permanently if something is not done to regulate these prices! I fully support this bill.”

Former Vermont State Representative and Energy & Technology Committee member Warren van Wyck as well as energy professional and author of the book Shorting The Grid Meredith Angwin testified that Senate Bill 123 will simultaneously reduce costs, reduce reliance on fossil fuels, and increase the long-term reliability of the grid by giving equal treatment to all clean energy sources—instead of special treatment for some over others as Connecticut currently does.

AARP Connecticut also submitted supportive testimony of several reforms in Senate Bill 123.

“Connecticut’s electricity costs have been far too high for far too long,” Sen. Fazio said. “We know this bill will reduce people’s costs and make Connecticut more affordable for everybody. It’s not a political statement. It’s a solution. And it creates a path to energy affordability. All the evidence suggests this is the major proposal before the General Assembly this year that can reduce electricity bills for Connecticut families.”

The bills highlights include:

  • Bringing all clean energy sources into the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard by adding nuclear power and all sources of hydro power.
  • Improving the Standard Service Procurement process by examining the differing ways Connecticut’s large utilities, small municipal owned utilities, and other states all procure power.
  • Giving state regulators more discretion and flexibility in decoupling to protect ratepayers.
  • Establishing utility rate case oversight to ensure that resolutions of rate cases and settlements are made in the best interest of ratepayers and not for other political considerations.

Sen. Fazio urged residents to email him their thoughts at [email protected].