Electricity Rate Increase Calls for The End of Deregulation of Utility Companies
As we welcome in the New Year, it’s unconscionable that utility companies will place an additional hardship on working families in the form of a dramatic price hike on their electricity bill.
As Eversource enjoys record profits over the last decade, the utility company that most Connecticut residents rely upon for electricity has announced that effective January 1, their standard service supply rates will double from the current price of 12.05 per kilowatt hour to 24.2 cents per kilowatt hour. This spike in the supply rate will result in customers seeing an average increase of 84.00 dollars on their monthly utility bill.
Executives at Eversource state that the significant influence for the increase in the supply portion of electric bills for their customers has occurred due to the war in Ukraine, which has affected the global market price for natural gas, a requirement for most electricity generation in Connecticut. The standard service supply portion of electric bills is a pass-through rate or rate that the consumer pays directly to the supplier of the fuel used to generate the electricity.
While Eversource states that it does not receive any financial gain from service supply rates, customers are forced to shoulder the burden of the price increase in a state that already has one of the highest utility rates in the country.
Fortunately, many financial assistance programs are available for families to help ease the economic burden. Through the state Department of Social Services, the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) provides financial assistance for qualified families based on household income. You can apply to see if you are eligible for the program at ct.gov/heatinghelp/apply.
Like CEAP, Operation Fuel is another program that offers financial assistance to cover heating and water costs for qualified families in Connecticut. To see if you are eligible for assistance, enroll online at https://operationfuel.org/gethelp/.
Governor Lamont has also proposed to assist in tackling increased supply rate costs in the form of a ten-dollar credit on electric bills – a minor, if not laughable, relief for residents in one of the few states that do not regulate utility companies.
As the state’s General Assembly begins its new session, hopefully, the outrage from the latest electricity price increase will start a discussion about the need for the end of the deregulation of utility companies in the state. Residents should demand more oversight protection from the state against price spikes in their utility rates, such as the one we're forced to endure at the start of the New Year.