Holding Eversource AccountableMarch 22, 2023
In the past week, the Energy and Technology Committee took a step towards our second overhaul of electric utility accountability and regulation in three years with a bipartisan committee vote on Senate Bill 7 aimed at cutting consumer costs.
The legislation I helped pass, which contains two dozen sections, next heads to the state Senate. This bill would allow state regulators to consider the state's consumers, economy, and inflation when considering future rate hikes; strengthen the ability of the Public Utility Regulatory Authority's (PURA) to require more rigorous rate hearings; and that customers get more consideration. Some utility legal fees, executive pay hikes, lobbying efforts, and charitable contributions would also be prohibited from inclusion in utility rate increases. This bill is still evolving and I look forward to helping get it across the finish line.
In 2020, I helped pass the “Take Back Our Grid Act”. Among other things, it directed PURA to establish performance-based regulation that is tied to specific goals and metrics, not simply the cost of providing service. Senate Bill 7 is an extension of the 2020 bill to add more tools in the toolbox for our regulatory authority.
Connecticut has limited authority over the electric rates charged by Eversource and United Illuminating, regulating only the cost of distributing electricity to homes and businesses, not the source of its supply. More than half of consumers’ bills are the cost of generating electricity, which is set by a competitive market.
I will continue to keep you updated on the progress of Senate Bill 7.