Eversource accountability plan approved by PURA, penalty for Isaias storm response

Connecticut

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont announced the approval of the Eversource accountability plan Wednesday afternoon. The plan comes as a penalty to the utility company for their response to Storm Isaias during the summer of 2020.

RELATED: Pending settlement directs Eversource to return $103.4M back to customers after ‘inadequate response’ to Isaias

The accountability plan, approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), will “increase local accountability and control, and return $103.4 million back to Connecticut families following significant deficiencies in the utility’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias.”

In a tweet earlier this month, Attorney General William Tong said of the utility company’s response to the storm, “Eversource failed its customers and put families at risk after Isaias. That cannot happen again.”

The governor’s office says the agreement will stabilize electric distribution rates until at least January 2024.

What the agreement does:

  • Directs $65 million in Eversource funds to be immediately returned to customers in the form of two credits on their December and January bills.
  • The average customer will see a $35 total credit.
  • Eversource has agreed not to apply for a rate increase until at least January 2023 for rates that could not take place until at least January 2024.
  • Requires Eversource to create a new Connecticut-based president of Connecticut Light & Power to improve local accountability and control and to add new seats to its governance board for representatives from Connecticut.
  • Commits Eversource to continuing and enhancing its Connecticut-based training and apprenticeship programs to ensure statewide access to line worker career opportunities and adequate staffing of line workers in Connecticut.

The governor and Attorney General Tong both applauded the approval.

Governor Lamont said, “This progress happened as a result of a significant storm that impacted hundreds of thousands of residents, and then this settlement was reached after more than a year of a thorough process that involved hearing from ratepayers, elected officials, and the publicly regulated utility. The end result is immediate savings for consumers on their upcoming energy bills, and a level of accountability which shows our residents that a company providing power in our state must answer to those within our borders.”

Attorney General Tong added, “I will work closely with PURA as this agreement is implemented to ensure every term is honored and that Connecticut families see the safe and reliable service they are owed. Although this settlement is concluded, my work is not done. I will continue to aggressively monitor Eversource’s performance and will hold them accountable whenever and wherever necessary.”

All customers are currently eligible to participate in a 24-month payment plan – without fees or interest – to pay down any arrearage they have and to avoid any service disconnection. Residents are encouraged to contact Eversource at 800-286-2828 or visit www.eversource.com/billhelp to access assistance.

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