HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — A new Republican proposal targets eliminating what they say is a “hidden fee” on soaring electric bills.

Utility bills went up by about 50% for Eversource and United Illuminating on Jan. 1, with companies pointing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as the reason why it’s more pricy to purchase energy in New England.

It’s a change that has hit hard — costing the average home an estimated $80 more a month.

“Anything, any kind of price increase, is tough on small businesses,” said Jack Troncoso, who owns ACE Hardware in Waterford.

The Republican-led plan includes eliminating the line on utility bills for “public policy,” which would lead to a $22 savings on a $150 bill.

“We are not looking to throw rocks and bricks,” said Rep. Bill Buckbee (R-District 67). “We want to find solutions.”

The “public policy” funds pay for the Clean Air Act, the Green Bank, and other renewable energy programs. Instead, Republicans want it to be a part of the state budget, touting a potential savings of $210 a year.

Rep. Ryan Fazio (R-District 36) said they change it so the dollars aren’t “hidden away from plain sight and embedded in our electricity bill.”

Democrats are also scrutinizing the rate increases.

“We’re going to be looking to make sure that no one loses their power as a result of these ridiculously high rates,” Sen. Norm Needleman (D-33 District) said.

A spokesperson for Eversource told News 8 that customers have reached out to ask how to change suppliers.

Long-term solutions to lower costs could include extending natural gas pipelines, adding hydropower and attracting more energy companies to the Connecticut market.

“We need to give them a reason to do business here,” Buckbee said. “These people that jump ship and don’t want to do business here, they are down in Delaware, and Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.”