During Wednesday's special session the House of Representatives passed the most transformative Energy reform legislation on utility rates in a decade.
My colleagues and I are holding the big utility companies accountable to ratepayers and addressing some of the pressing issues that we have heard from many of you.
H.B. 7006, also known as "Take Back our Grid" legislation, creates a solid framework that will hold utility companies accountable and pushes them to improve their services and how they respond to future storms.
|The legislation will:
- Establish Performance Based Ratemaking – where state regulators (PURA -Public Utilities Regulatory Authority) establishes standards the utilities must meet, develops metrics for determining progress, and allows the issuance of penalties if the utilities fail to meet the standard;
- Require the utilities to provide $25 daily bill credits and $250 total claim for food and medicine, as well as reduced charges to residential customers without power lasting more than 96 hours;
- Tie the portion of executive salaries that come from ratepayers to the company's performance;
- Develop minimum staffing levels for lineman, communications personnel and others to make sure the utilities respond to storms quickly and convey timely information to their customers.
This legislation is the first of many efforts to hold energy companies accountable. We hope to address the issues of significant rate increases in July and poor performance during Tropical Storm Isaias again in the near future.
PURA has on-going investigations into both the Eversource rate increase and the storm response. I am certain that these investigations will lead to legislative proposals during the 2021 session.