State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District
United Illuminating (UI) has filed new and lower standard service rates for residential customers from July 1 through December 31 with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), and the average bills are expected to decrease significantly from current levels.
UI files to change rates twice annually, with the rates going into effect on January 1 and July 1 of each year. The cost of natural gas, which provides the fuel for most of the heat and electricity across Connecticut and New England, is subject to continued market volatility and international factors like Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As a result, present bills were pushed as much as $80 higher on average since the beginning of 2023 and running through June 30.
While dropping electricity rates is positive news, PURA also recently took a significant step toward additional accountability for UI by implementing performance-based regulation (PBR) starting in 2024. Connecticut is one of the first states in the country to establish such a system, which was part of the “Take Back Our Grid Act” we passed in October 2020.
PBR has the potential to align regulatory tools since there are certain goals UI will be expected to achieve, including fulfillment of public policies, empowering customers, and providing reasonable, equitable, and affordable rates as opposed to roller coaster increases and decreases.
Connecticut’s implementation of PBR signals a commitment to dually improving utility performance and customer outcomes. It is not an attempt to hurt the utilities. PBR will show residents, however, that the utilities will keep their best interests in mind within a specific operating framework.
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.