Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Rolls Back Unfair Market Practice

December 5, 2019

When I was going door to door on my campaign last year, one of the major concerns that I heard about again and again was the high cost of energy in our state. This concern is particularly acute to the more vulnerable in our community. I sit on the Energy and Technology Committee and one of the first things I did when I got to Hartford was to work this issue.

I’m proud to report back to you that I have good news for Connecticut Tax Payers! The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will begin to roll back an unfair market practice where residents receiving taxpayer funded energy assistance were overcharged to the tune of $7.2 million over the last two years.

I will continue to work towards addressing the general energy market that has third party energy suppliers overcharging consumers for utilities by $38 million a year.

You may remember video I posted early last session with then Consumer Counsel Elin Katz:

PURA has issued a proposal to ban third party suppliers from the Energy Assistance market. That means that those most in need of help will no longer be subject to unnecessary surcharges. Our tax dollars will no longer be wasted to enrich market players that add absolutely nothing to our energy market but higher costs.

From the decision:

"OCC presented compelling evidence based on analysis of two years’ of billing data that hardship customers purchasing electricity from third-party suppliers from October 2016 through September 2018 paid $7.2 million more during that time period than they would have if they had purchased electricity through standard service."

Proposed Final Decision Summary

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority finds that customers defined as hardship pursuant to Sections 16-245o(m) and 16-262c of the General Statutes of Connecticut receiving electric supply from third-party suppliers have paid more for electric service than they would have receiving standard service supply from the electric distribution companies and they have not received commensurate value for this overpayment. This overpayment affects not only the hardship customers, but all Connecticut ratepayers contributing to the hardship payments. As a result, all hardship customers shall be transferred to standard service immediately upon the electric distribution companies’ completion of system programming necessary to prevent hardship customers from contracting with third-party electric suppliers.

Follow this LINK to read the complete proposed final ruling.