Sen. Tony Hwang Co-Introduces and Commends Senate on Passage of Bipartisan Legislation Aimed to Decrease Consumer Energy Rates

May 31, 2023

Sen. Tony Hwang Co-Introduces and Commends Senate

on Passage of Bipartisan Legislation Aimed to Decrease Consumer Energy Rates

Senator Tony Hwang co-introduced a bipartisan amendment and voted toward Senate’s passage of S.B. 7, An Act Strengthening Protections for Connecticut’s Consumers of Energy: bipartisan legislation which aims to strengthen oversight of the state’s utilities on behalf of consumers.
“This is a first step to improving reliability and reducing the costs of electricity in our state, hoping to make Connecticut more affordable,” said Sen. Hwang, who is the former Ranking Senator on the Energy and Technology Committee.
Many of the concepts in the legislation originated from S.B. 123, which was co-sponsored by Sen. Hwang in January.
They include reforms that will lower energy costs and improve reliability by incorporating more zero-carbon nuclear energy 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.
“Electric rates in Connecticut are too high and unaffordable,” Sen. Hwang said. “We need to do all we can to drive down these unacceptably high costs.  We need to put consumers first, and this bill moves us in the right direction.”
The legislation:
  • 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
  • Allows Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) flexibility to determine the formula and methodology for decoupling

    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 redesign
  • 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.
Senator Tony Hwang, a Chief Deputy Republican Senate Leader representing the 28th Senate District was a former vice chairman of Energy and Technology Committee.