Connecticut’s Attorney General William Tong has filed comments with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority seeking scrutiny of an Eversource proposal to charge ratepayers $620 million for new smart meter technology.
The comments do not oppose the transition to smart meter technology, which can aid storm recovery and help monitor and manage energy consumption. Rather, the comments question whether Eversource’s plan benefits all ratepayers and makes economic sense – adding up to $5 per month to residential electric bills in the coming years.
Eversource is seeking to replace nearly one million meters, regardless of whether they are still within their twenty-year usable life—adding new meter costs while ratepayers are still paying for the old meters. In contrast, United Illuminating has been strategically phasing in smart meter technology since 2010 with no material impact on rates.
“Eversource’s plan for smart meters appears to be needlessly wasteful and expensive. United Illuminating has been able to invest in smart meters without nickel and diming Connecticut families. Eversource needs to modernize their energy infrastructure without ignoring consumer needs,” Attorney General Tong said in a release on Monday.
Click here for the full comments.
Eversource responded with a statement saying they appreciated Attorney General Tong’s support for a transition to smart meter technology because it can aid storm recovery and help customers monitor and manage energy consumption.
“The use of smart meter technology is unique to each utility system,” the statement continued. “There are differences between the timing, scope and functionality of the smart metering technology installed by UI and the technology that Eversource intends to install.”
“As part of its advanced metering docket, PURA has challenged us to come up with creative ways to minimize bill impact on customers and we have taken up that challenge and plan to work with stakeholders and PURA to find a good result that works for all of our customers and realizes the quantifiable benefits that today’s metering technology will unlock for our customers.”