Eversource ratepayers will see an increase in their electric bills starting July 1.
The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said standard service for Eversource customers will go up 12 cents. United Illuminating customers will see a decrease of about 35 cents per month.
That means the average Eversource residential customer using 700 kWh per month will see their monthly bills increase by approximately $3.96.
The changes will come from the supply portion of a customer’s bill. Rates are adjusted twice a year in January and July. This past January Eversouce customers saw their bills increase $31 per month and United Illuminating customer’s saw them increase $18 per month.
The state has control over only a part of electricity rates. There is nothing the state can do to lower generation rates in a deregulated marketplace.
Prices on the generation side of the ledger are increasing as a result of continued supply chain restraints and other geopolitical tensions, natural gas prices remain at historically high levels not seen in over a decade. As the primary fuel source for New England’s electricity generation fleet, natural gas prices drive electric generation or supply costs paid by customers. While natural gas prices fell substantially during the global COVID-19 pandemic due to decreased demand, as the world economy slowly recovers demand is increasing as business production and consumer activity increases, at a time when supplies have been lower due to the reduction of oil drilling and natural gas production during the height of the pandemic.
This has led to higher-than-normal July 1 standard service rates.
The co-chairs of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee said it’s not acceptable.
Sen. Norm Needleman and Rep. David Arconti said it’s “a stark reminder that ISO New England’s wholesale electricity markets need meaningful reform.”
They said the grid operators hasn’t done enough to push the region away from an over-reliance on fossil fuels.
“The need for a more robust energy portfolio is especially acute after ISO-NE sounded an alarm last winter that the region could experience significant reliability issues in extreme cold,” the two said in a statement. “Whether it is geopolitical uncertainties or extreme weather, it is possible that ISO-NE could be caught unprepared for an energy emergency. Every RTO/ISO region in the country has reliability and market issues. In Connecticut, we need a consistent and reliable grid. Texas and California are two recent examples of reliability issues due to extreme weather. ISO-NE needs to take action to ensure we do not potentially follow suit.”