Conn. (WTNH) – Connecticut residents might see an increase in their electric bills as soon as next year.

United Illuminating (UI) sent a letter to Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority detailing a plan to file an application for a rate increase due to a distribution revenue operating deficiency. As a result, the average total bill could increase by about 8%.

UI said the rate application will allow them, “to build a stronger, smarter, and more resilient grid for its customers” and improve investments in clean energy transformation.

Their last distribution rate case was for a three-year plan in 2016. UI distribution rates, therefore, have not increased since January 1, 2019.

By the proposed September 2023 start date, UI would have operated without a rate increase for five years. Along with this, “UI customers are paying less today for distribution service than they were when rates were approved in 2016” according to the letter. The company, however, has continued to make the necessary investments to provide for its customers.

UI will have measures to assist with the impact of the possible rate increases. These include a “rate levelization proposal” which would result in a 5% increase across all rate classes. According to UI, this is “less than the current rate of inflation impacting consumers.”

The application also includes a low-income discount rate that will provide relief to customers who are disadvantaged.

“Connecticut families pay far too much for their energy, and a rate increase at this time will only make that worse,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said in a statement, criticizing the letter. “My office will intervene on behalf of consumers, and we intend to aggressively scrutinize every charge and assumption in search of savings.”

UI’s request will officially be submitted in September or October of this year and would first take effect in September of 2023. It would last for three years.

UI released a statement saying:

UI’s last distribution rate case was in 2016 and UI’s customers’ distribution rates have not increased since January 1, 2019, and since this time inflation rates — the cost of doing business — has increased over 7%.  Additionally, UI has and continues to make significant investments necessary to continue to provide safe and reliable service to its customers all while keeping rates stable.

UI’s anticipated rate application will enable UI to build a stronger, smarter and more resilient grid, focused on maintaining reliability and strengthening the resiliency of the system to meet customer needs and evolving expectations.  Our goal in this rate case is to spread the proposed total rate increase over three years at an average total bill increase of approximately 5% per year across all rate classes, which represents an increase that is less than the current rate of inflation.

The average residential customer (with a bill of $188) will see an increase of $9.69 for the 5% bill increase. 

UI serves around 341,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in southwestern Connecticut, including 17 municipalities: Ansonia, Bridgeport, Derby, Easton, East Haven, Fairfield, Hamden, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull, West Haven, and Woodbridge.