Connecticut Eversource, United Illuminating customers to see higher energy prices this winter

Connecticut

Conn. (WTNH) — Utility customers in the state are going to see higher prices for electricity this winter.

Friday, Eversource said, on average, a residential electric customer who uses 700 kilowatt-hours of power each month could see an increase of around 21% over their current monthly bill, which is around $31/month.

For most Connecticut customers, Eversource is their provider. But for customers of United Illuminating, their monthly bill increase will be $19/month.

Commissioner Katie Dykes of the State Dept. of Energy and Environment said of the announcement, “The administration is doing everything that we can to help protect consumers.”

How much a customer pays is ultimately going to depend on how much energy is used, their rate category, and weather through the heating season.

Both companies point out they do not earn profits on the charge; the money is passed along to energy generators.

The volatility of energy prices has slowed. Governor Ned Lamont said policy changes like investing in off-shore wind and locking in pricing for nuclear power have helped.

“Today, with the high price of natural gas, this is a good deal and the carbon-free nuclear power is subsidizing your bills,” Lamont explained.

Energy prices are connected to the cost of gas and natural gas. Those prices are high due to global pandemic demand. If you heat your home with gas, expect to pay up to 20% more.

Commissioner Dykes added, “Some customers love to purchase through third-party suppliers. They can shop around, they can find some deals.”

United Illuminating customers will see a 17% increase in electricity costs from last year. Officials say “we are here to help them manage their use and costs.”

The higher rate continues through July. By state law, prices are adjusted twice a year. There is good news: electricity and heat can not be turned off by law through May.

A $65-million settlement with Eversource over failures during Storm Isias means a credit for customers.

Marissa Gillette, the chair of the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, explained, “Which results in a total of $35 worth of credits for an average consumer.”

The state’s Office of Consumer Counsel says rates six years ago were higher.

“We truly understand the strain that this will have on many of our customers who are still dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, world conditions are such that energy prices will continue to rise and remain high for a while,” said Eversource Executive Vice President, Customer Experience and Energy Strategy Penni Conner.

Eversource said it offers a wide variety of energy efficiency programs to help customers reduce power use and save money year-round. Learn about ways to save here.

Regulators will roll out a new look to utility bills soon, making them easier to read.

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