Update: This post has been updated to include a statement from Governor Ned Lamont.
With energy prices at record highs this winter, Eversource is working to connect its customers with the many programs and services available to help manage their bill ahead of the January 1 electric supply rate change. While customers are facing rising costs in virtually all aspects of life, the company is reminding them of the variety of payment options and assistance programs including Budget Billing, Matching Payment, New Start and the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
“We know how challenging increased energy costs are for our customers who are already frustrated with rising prices for other basic, daily needs, and we want to help them manage their energy bills as much as possible,” said Eversource Executive VP of Customer Experience and Energy Strategy Penni Conner.
“We’re here to work with our customers one-on-one on ways to reduce their energy usage and connect them with assistance programs, flexible payment plans or other resources to help them manage their monthly bill. We also remind customers they can compare energy prices at EnergizeCT and sign up with an alternative supplier for their energy supply if they choose.”
On Thursday, the energy company filed new electricity supply prices from power suppliers with Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) that would be in effect from January 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.
If approved, the proposed Standard Service Rate for residential customers who receive their energy supply from Eversource would change from 12.1 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 24.2 cents per kWh, compared to 11.5 cents per kWh last winter.
On average, an Eversource residential electric customer who uses 700 kilowatt hours of power each month could see an increase of approximately 48% over their current monthly bill – approximately $85 per month – on the supply portion of the bill.
In Connecticut, the energy supply price changes twice a year – January 1 and July 1 – representing the cost that Eversource pays generators for the power that customers use. Eversource only charges customers what it pays generators for producing the power – it does not earn a profit on the cost of electricity.
How much a customer pays will ultimately depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather conditions. All Eversource customers have the option to buy their power from state-approved third-party suppliers or receive their energy supply through Eversource’s Standard Service rate. Customers can find out more information about alternate supplier rates at EnergizeCT.
As has been widely reported, energy costs continue to rise globally, with regional electric supply prices reaching all-time highs this year due to increased global demand for and the high cost of natural gas, world events, extreme weather, and other issues.
Eversource is encouraging customers who are having difficulty paying their energy bills or want to learn more about what help is available to participate in one of its upcoming webinars – December 1st or 8th at noon. The webinar will include information about protection from service disconnection, programs to reduce unpaid balances with affordable monthly payments, extended payment plans and no-cost energy efficiency programs that can help lower energy usage. Advanced registration is required, and customers can sign up at Eversource.com/Billhelp. Customers can also call the energy company at 800-286-2828 to learn more about the assistance and programs available.
On Thursday, Attorney General Tong released a statement:
Attorney General William Tong released the following statement regarding new Eversource and United Illuminating standard service supply rates effective January 1.
“Eversource supply rates will double from 12.05 cents per kWh to 24.2 cents per kWh, resulting in an $84 per month increase for the average user. United Illuminating supply rates will go from 10.6 cents per kWh to 22.5 cents per kWh, resulting in an $83.09 increase for the average user,” Tong said.
“This is a massive increase that will be unaffordable for many Connecticut families and businesses. We pay far too much for our energy in Connecticut as it is, and these winter rates are nothing short of punishing. My office has intervened on behalf of consumers at each and every rate case before the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission because we know how much the cost of energy impacts family budgets. We have next to no ability to challenge these supply rates, which is frustrating. Our supply rates always fluctuate between winter and summer, but this is not normal. We are seeing a huge global spike in gas costs due to the war in Ukraine and Russian manipulation of gas supplies. Both as a country and a state, we need to take a hard look at our energy sources and reduce our reliance on sources like natural gas that produce these wild, unaffordable surges in rates.”
In a statement released around 5:00pm, Governor Lamont said:
“This is unwelcome news to close out a year that has been challenging for so many in our state. In the coming days, I will be calling the General Assembly into special session to adopt legislation focused on providing relief for Connecticut residents, including by ensuring our energy assistance program is adequately funded to at least last year’s level so support is available for electricity and heating oil costs.”
“I am disappointed electric distribution utilities are enjoying historic profits at the same time electric generation rates are increasing and customers are experiencing economic hardships, and I call on UI and Eversource to come to the table with solutions that recognize their investors and executives can and should support customers while we work together towards long-term solutions that untether us from the volatility of global fossil fuel markets,” Lamont continued. “While it may be a small consolation, we are in a similar position as other New England states, and we have mitigated the felt impact thanks to proactive actions our administration has taken. I want residents to know that programs are available for those who need support paying their electric bills this winter, including our energy efficiency programs, which we’ve kept funded and provided supplemental funds to in order to help those most in need.”