(Photo) Senator Fazio Commends Senate on Passage of Bipartisan Legislation Aimed to Decrease Consumer Energy Rates

May 26, 2023

May 26, 2023
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Hannah Lemek
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Senator Fazio Commends Senate on Passage of Bipartisan Legislation Aimed to Decrease Consumer Energy Rates

HARTFORD- Today, Senator Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) applauds the Senate’s passage of S.B. 7, An Act Strengthening Protections for Connecticut’s Consumers of Energy, which Senator Fazio co-authored with other leaders of the Energy and Technology Committee. The bipartisan legislation will strengthen oversight of the state’s utilities on behalf of consumers and be a first step to improving reliability and reducing the costs of electricity in our state.

Many of the concepts originated from S.B. 123, introduced by Senator Fazio in January, were incorporated in the final product of S.B. 7. They include reforms that will lower energy costs and improve reliability by incorporating more zero-carbon nuclear energy and hydroelectric power into our Renewable Energy Portfolio; improving cost transparency on consumers energy bill to include costs of supply, transmission, distribution, and state policies; strengthening PURA’s ability to protect ratepayers by putting guardrails around the settlement process for rate making; reducing the ability of utilities to recover the costs of travel and leisure for their directors and executives; and paying utilities more for positive performance rather than simply more sales.
Senator Fazio said, “In the winter, when residents across Connecticut saw a startling rise in their energy bills, it was important for this state government to act. Of course, we see market fluctuations in the cost of electricity all the time. Still, we know that Connecticut rates are too high, and our residents are not satisfied with the level of service they are receiving from the utilities tasked to serve consumers.”
“We need to put consumers first, and we need a long-term strategy for reducing rates and improving the reliability of our grid. I believe this bipartisan legislation is a positive step along those lines,” Fazio said.

Senate Bill 7:

  • Allows Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) flexibility to determine the formula and methodology for decoupling
  • Prohibits a public service company with over 75,000 customers from being able to recover in rates costs associated with a ratemaking, proceeding before PURA
  • Puts certain guardrails in place for settlements reached between companies and the state
  • Requires by August 1, 2023, each Electric Distribution Company (EDC) to use an updated bill re-design
  • Requires PURA to study the power procurement process used by the EDCs
  • Requires Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to study, within available appropriations, to study small modular reactors
  • Allows for all run-of-the-river hydro facilities to count as a class 1 source, any facility under 60 megawatts
  • Increases from 1% to 2.5%, the amount from hydro that can count towards the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)

After receiving an immediate transmittal, the proposed legislation moves to the House of Representatives, where it awaits further action.

Attached photo: Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) and Senator Ryan Fazio (R-Greenwich) after final vote in the Senate on Thursday night.



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