Connecticut lawmakers pass pro-consumer ‘Take Back the Grid’ bill in Special Session

Politics

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut State Senate passed the “Take Back the Grid” bill during day-three of the legislative Special Session Thursday.

In a unanimous vote 35-0, lawmakers passed the pro-consumer utility reform bill that creates a performance-based system to determine rates.

The bill allows the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to hit the utility companies with penalties of 10% or more if customers are without power for more than 48 hours after an emergency like extreme weather.

Over the summer, the state was slammed by multiple severe storms. Most residents did not have power back in their homes or businesses for days, and, for some, weeks.

RELATED: Special Session Day 3: Senate takes up bills including contentious school construction priority list

It also allows consumers to get money for losses in the most recent storms and if needed take the utilities to civil court.

The bill includes actions against all utilities including electric, gas, water, and telecommunication companies.

On the floor of the State Senate Thursday, Sen. Martin Looney (D) said, “We have now a system that will provides some penalties for egregious delays and some compensation for customers who have lost food or emergency supplied of medications.”

He went on to say that, during one of the summer’s post-storm long-term power outages his “grandson had to store insulin in our refrigerator because at his house the power was out for several days.”

RELATED: ‘Take Back the Grid Act’: Legislators considering penalties for Eversource, UI on lack of response to storm damage, outages

In a post on Twitter, Attorney General William Tong called on Eversource and UI to immediately compensate CT families following the passage of the bill.

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