Monday, May 27, 2024

How to Fight Utility Hikes

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State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

As the natural gas supply shortage continues to affect the globe and the country, United Illuminating (UI) announced that they are doubling their rates effective January 1, 2023. This unwelcome news comes as UI collects record profits, passing the cost burden onto us.

The severe service rate increases will impact thousands of Connecticut families who have already faced numerous challenges over the last few years and now may not have the resources they need to keep their heat and lights on throughout the winter months.

This is unacceptable.

My legislative colleagues and I have been hard at work finding solutions, both long- and short-term, to ensure every family in Connecticut has access to affordable utilities:

How you can save now:

Last month, the Governor announced the launch of the collaborative short-term Customer Relief Plan, a $120/year credit towards your electricity bill, for all UI customers, which can offer a savings of $10/month on your utility bill.

https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2022/11-2022/Governor-Lamont-State-Officials-Work-With-Utilities-to-Advance-a-Short-term-Customer-Relief-Plan

Energize CT is a publicly funded resource where you can secure lower rates for a minimum of 4 months from third-party suppliers and learn how to make your home energy efficient to lower consumption.

During the November special session, we increased funding for Operation Fuel, an energy assistance resource for qualifying low-income families, which has an assistance program that began December 19th.

During the November special session, we also approved an additional $30 million boost in funding for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which you can apply for here through May 31, 2023.

Additional energy assistance is available by contacting Human Services Department, community action agency, or me directly.

In addition to these resources, House Democratic Leadership has formed a bipartisan commission with industry-experienced representation to evaluate alternative energy programs and legislative proposals that we can raise to protect families from severe rate hikes like this in the future.

The work we are committed to:

  • Greater investment in other sources of clean energy to remain committed to Connecticut’s environmental goals while making our state’s utilities affordable for all.
  • More regional options for energy supply to lower delivery costs.
  • Sufficient transparency on rate increases offering greater review and public input.
  • Research states with regulated markets and lower consumer costs to draft similar legislative proposals.

I understand that the soaring energy prices continue to affect working families, which is why my colleagues and I remain committed to working on solutions that will provide resources and assistance to ease the cost burden on you. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me on how we can better offer aid to working families, and if you need help applying for any of the energy assistance programs listed above, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Joseph P. Gresko

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