(WTNH) – On Thursday, Eversource and United Illuminating (UI) announced that Connecticut residents could see an increase in their electric bills. This came as Eversource and UI filed new supply rates with the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), citing ongoing global demands.
Eversource customers could see an increase of approximately 48% or $84.85 over their current monthly bill. UI said the Standard Service Rate for its residential customers will rise from 10.62 to 21.94 cents per kWh. UI customers could see an increase of approximately 43% or $79.24 over their current monthly bill.
After the increases were announced, Connecticut residents were left wondering what they could do to keep the costs of their energy low.
Did you know that you could shop around for energy suppliers in Connecticut?
In New England, we rely on liquified natural gas, making electricity more expensive.
“Right now, there is about 16 offers here that are less expensive than the standard service will be in January,” said Claire Coleman, CT Consumer Counsel.
PURA approves and licenses electricity suppliers in Connecticut, who can offer you a competitive rate for your generation supply. PURA operated EnergizeCT, which provides extensive electricity information. They include a list of competitive generation supply offers from licensed suppliers.
When you go to EnergizeCT, you click on your utility company, enter your account type, and enter your current monthly usage. The website will give you a list of other suppliers that you can compare to get the best rate.
“So, here you can narrow your search again by utility, residential type,” Coleman said. “If there’s a particular supplier you’re interested in, you can find it on this list to the left here, but you can also click through and just run through. They have all of the offerings on the website and as you can see, there are offers ranging here from $0.13 a kilowatt hour to 22, 36, to 38.”
Another website residents can shop for electric suppliers is ElectricityPlans.com. When you go to the website, you enter your zip code, and it will give you a list of suppliers and their rates.
When you are shopping around for an electricity supplier, be sure to look out for enrollment fees and the contract agreement.
“Then they want to make sure they look at the offer details because that is where the fine print will tell them how long of a contract they’re entering into,” Coleman said.
“Illegal and deceptive sales tactics” have been zapped by laws. Regulators banned variable rate contracts, the first of its kind nationwide.
“Don’t set it and forget it,” Coleman said. “Unlike other appliances here, you want to make sure you want to set monthly reminders to make sure that the deal that you’re getting is still comparable to or is still better than what you could get on standard service.”
“Marissa Gillett, Chair of PURA, monitors the pricing. While she can’t comment on the pending action, she explains what DPUC is looking for.
“We’re trying to make sure they are not marking it up,” Gillett said. “When did they completely procure this electricity to the best of their ability?”
The new supply rates would be in effect from Jan. 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023, the companies said. The supply rate changes on Jan. 1 and July 1 of each year.
Connecticut residents can compare energy prices at EnergizeCT and sign up with an alternative energy supplier.
If you are in need of home heating assistance, call 211, or apply to the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program.
If you are an Eversource customer, visit Eversource.com/Billhelp to read more about payment options. Eversource is also hosting two webinars to help customers understand their options on Dec. 1 and Dec. 8.
UI also has several programs to help customers who need assistance paying their bills. Customers can visit the UI website or call (800) 722-5584 for more information.
Short-Term Energy Outlook
The U.S. Energy Information and Administration’s November short-term energy outlook said that U.S. sales of electricity would increase by 2.7% this year due to economic activity and hotter summer. However, electricity sales are predicted to drop by .9% next year.
Natural gas-fueled 38% of the nation’s electricity generation this year, an increase of one percentage point from the previous year. It is expected to drop to 36% in 2023.
The forecast estimated that wholesale electricity prices at major power hubs would be 20% to 60% higher this winter, with the highest prices to be in New England due to “possible natural gas pipeline constraints, reduced fuel inventories for power generation, and uncertainty regarding liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments given the tight global supply conditions.”
The outlook estimated that the residential price of energy would increase by 8% from 2021 across the nation, reaching an average of 14.9 cent kWh.