Sen. Gordon Reminds Ratepayers of the Cause for Double-Digit Electricity Rate Hikes

July 5, 2024

State Sen. Jeff Gordon (R-Woodstock) today reminded electric utility ratepayers of the cause for Eversource’s 19 percent rate hike, which took effect this week.


“Earlier this year I was loud and clear about the electricity rate hikes that were approved and that have now gone into effect as of July 1. Connecticut’s hardworking people, families, retirees, and job-creating small businesses are already in a tough position, and this increase makes things worse. Most people do not have the extra money because they are living paycheck-to-paycheck or otherwise facing hardships to make ends meet. This won’t be sustainable. Connecticut is already a high-cost-of-living state. It has the third highest electricity costs in the U.S. according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.


“Instead of an approximately $40 per month drop for average residential use because of a reduced cost for utilities to buy the electricity, there is an approximate $8 per month increase for average residential use because of ‘public benefits’ charges that have skyrocketed to around $48 per month for an average household. As a result, consumers are robbed of a net reduction on their bill and instead see a net increase. This large cost is due to state government mandates. It is estimated to comprise approximately 30 percent of your total bill, separate from the cost to buy and to distribute the electricity.


“You must know that this situation was preventable and is borne from policy decisions before I joined the legislature: existing nuclear power purchase agreements and the Governor’s moratorium on service terminations during the pandemic. Although these policies might have merits, they must be paid for. They account for the $784 million in costs that Eversource will recover. These polices do not reflect today’s realities.


“I joined my Republican colleagues a year ago and again this year to change our course. We proposed meaningful ways to make energy costs less expensive in the state, to work toward a sustainable and cost-effective energy procurement process, and to allow for better oversight of utilities. I supported major legislation that passed to address these concerns and to protect energy consumers. This year, my Republican colleagues and I proposed to use remaining ARPA money to help defray the costs of big electricity rate hikes. The Democrats ignored it. Now you must pay for state government mandates.


“I agree with Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Chairwoman Gillett’s prior statement that not phasing-in the rate increase over several years was a missed opportunity. Now, ratepayers face a big hit that began this month. This is unfair. I will continue to advocate for commonsense ways to make energy and other utilities in Connecticut more affordable,” he said.