The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Commissioners voted unanimously this week to slightly lower electric rates for Eversource and United Illuminating customers in Connecticut from Sept. 1, 2022, through April 30, 2023.
Chairwoman Marissa Paslick Gillett, Vice Chairman John “Jack” Betkoski III, and Commissioner Michael Caron all voted in favor of the adjustments.
The change comes after the commissioners discussed two separate annual reviews of the rate adjustment mechanisms of UI and Eversource.
An average UI residential customer using 700kWh per month will save $7.72 per month while an average Eversource residential customer using the same amount will save $9.78 per month, officials said.
“Certainly the timing of this could not be better given the fact that people’s air conditioners are cranking this summer and their electric bills are going up,” Betkoski said during the authority’s Wednesday meeting. “This is going to bring forth some much-needed relief.”
Any electricity consumed on Sept. 1 or later in Connecticut by Eversource and UI customers will not be subject to an assessment for the Non-Bypassable Federally Mandated Congestion Charge (NBFMCC). Regulators reduced that fee to zero based on the performance of the Millstone and Seabrook power purchase agreements, according to PURA.
|Average rates across all classes||1.251||0.8273|
(Eversource Rate 1; UI Rate R)
NBFMCCs are collected on electricity bills to cover certain costs approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and related costs approved by PURA at the state level, according to its website. However, PURA reviews these charges to make sure the electric companies recover only their costs.
The temporary elimination of the Non-Bypassable Federally Mandated Congestion Charge arrives about 6 weeks after electricity rates increased on July 1 for Eversource customers by about $3.96 a month.
According to PURA, the decrease is mostly based on a substantial net credit from January through June 2022 for each electric utility’s Power Purchase Agreement with the Millstone Nuclear Energy Power Plant. “
The Millstone and Seabrook PPAs work essentially as a financial hedge,” according to an email from Joe Cooper, Deputy Director of Communications at PURA. “The rate at which Connecticut residents purchase the energy is locked in by contract, but if the energy can sell for more on the regional wholesale market, then the Connecticut residents receive a credit for the net overages.”