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State Senator

Cathy Osten

Representing Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich & Sprague

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Eastern Connecticut Legislators Demand Answers from Eversource


Today, State Senators Norm Needleman (D-Essex), Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) and Heather Somers (R-Groton) along with State Representatives Kate Rotella (D-Stonington), Joe DelaCruz (D-New London), Kevin Ryan (D-Norwich), Christine Conley (D-Groton, Ledyard), Anthony Nolan (D-New London), Brian Smith (D-Colchester), Holly Cheeseman (R-East Lyme), Mike France (R-42), Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford, Montville) and Devin Carney (R-Lyme), demanded answers from Eversource Energy following a significant number of state residents reporting increases in their electric bills. As of July 1, 2020, Eversource said it passed along a rate increase to customers due to a state mandated agreement with the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant to buy power, but Senators and Representatives are calling for a hearing to determine exactly why this spike in Eversource electric bills has occurred.

Eastern Connecticut legislators are asking Eversource to explain why this charge is being passed onto customers and to stop placing the blame on a recent state law regarding Millstone.

“I am asking Eversource not to place their extra charges onto customers especially during a pandemic,” said Sen. Needleman. “Some folks can’t afford the basic necessities and an extra charge on their bill is making it even harder for families to get by. I am asking Eversource for answers. What is the real reason so many are seeing a huge increase in their electricity bills.”

"This is an inappropriate time for such a drastic increase in the distribution rates from Eversource especially as generation rates are declining in Connecticut," said Sen. Formica. "The Energy Committee leadership will hold an electronic public hearing so that Eversource can come before us and testify as to their justification for this rate hike. Additionally, I have signed a letter with all leaders of the General Assembly to PURA asking for an immediate suspension of these increases and for PURA to conduct a thorough review of this request."

“This is an inappropriate time for such a drastic increase in the distribution rates from Eversource especially as generation rates are declining in CT,” said Sen. Osten. “The Energy Committee leadership will hold an electronic public hearing so that Eversource can come before us and testify as to their justification for this rate hike. Additionally, I concur with the letter of the Energy Committee leadership to PURA asking for an immediate suspension of these increases and for PURA to conduct a thorough review of this request.”

“Connecticut citizens are already subjected to some of the highest electricity costs in the nation. It is unacceptable that PURA would approve this drastic increase during a pandemic,” said Sen. Somers. “Eversource needs to critically explain and justify this especially in light of the fact generation rates re decreasing in Connecticut. The fact generation is decreasing should be evidence this increase is not due to a Millstone Agreement but rather other factors in including transmission”

"Many Connecticut residents are still reeling from the economic impact of COVID-19. Consumers should not be expected to shoulder the burden of these extra costs, especially during this time of uncertainty. These extra charges must be stopped at once", said Rep. Conley.

"I am saddened and disturbed that Eversource is attempting to blame the historic power purchase agreement that preserved 1500 jobs, carbon free power and 1.6 billion dollar annual contribution to the Connecticut economy for recent increases in customers’ bills," said Rep. Cheeseman. "Eversource’s own filing with the Public Utility Regulatory Authority states: '….the impact of the July 1st rate change for a typical residential (Rate 1) Standard Service customer using 700 kWh per month will be a rate increase of 3.5 % or $5.58 per month.' If that is the case, it is impossible to believe Eversource’s assertion that bills have doubled because of the Dominion agreement. I join my colleagues’ call for an immediate suspension of these rate increases and a legislative hearing to demand real answers from Eversource, not more excuses."

The rate increase comes as hundreds of thousands of residents are unemployed or have been furloughed because businesses were forced to shut down.

The Department of Energy Environmental Protection has directed electric distribution companies like Eversource to enter into long-term agreements to purchase a specified amount of energy, which allows a constant price for their energy over a long period of time. The electric distribution companies, which, in Connecticut do not own generation, can resell the purchased energy and recover the costs from ratepayers through a reconciling component of their bills. These legislative leaders are calling upon Eversource to provide an explanation to customers as to why their bills have spiked and will continue to go up. It is believed there are other factors that are going into this extra charge and say the state being responsible is not the underlying reason.

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