Both United Illuminating (UI) and Eversource announced earlier this week that residential customers will likely see significant decreases in their monthly electricity bills if the updated standard service rates are approved by the state’s utility regulators.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will announce July 1 supply rates after they review the filings, and ensure that “the electric distribution companies conducted competitive procurements for the electricity and that both companies are passing through no more and no less than the actual costs of that electricity supply,” PURA spokesman Joe Cooper said.
UI is projecting that the Standard Service price for UI residential customers will decrease from 21.94 to 14.37 cents per Kilowatt Hour (kWh) beginning July 1, 2023 – a bill decrease impact of 35% or $28 for a typical residential customer.
Eversource customers who stay with Standard Service will see an overall decrease of $56, or 22%, on their total bills, according to the utility. The price would change from the current 24.17 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 13.82 cents per kWh, compared to 12.19 cents per kWh last July.
In Connecticut, the energy supply price is reset every six months, in January and July.
UI President and CEO Frank Reynolds acknowledged that the rates that went into effect in January have been tough on customers, adding that the New England energy market still faces problems. Energy prices have increased due to supply chain issues, inflation and the war in Ukraine, officials said.
“While we are pleased that our customers will see lower bills this summer, the underlying issues that drove this winter’s exorbitant price increases remain unaddressed, and we will continue to call for accountability and reform until the market delivers the stable, affordable pricing and reliability our customers deserve,” Reynolds said in a statement.
Both companies point out that they do not earn a profit on the cost of electricity.
“It’s important to remember though, on average, Connecticut customers use 35% more electricity during the summer months with air conditioners, fans and other appliances working overtime to keep things cool inside,” Eversource President of Electric Operations in Connecticut Steve Sullivan said. He said customers are urged to take advantage of their energy efficiency and payment programs.
In January, UI launched a financial relief program for customers identified as having financial hardship between January and July. Between UI, Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, more than 300 customers in bill management programs, according to company officials.
Connecticut has the EnergizeCT rate board – a tool that helps residential and business electric customers compare standard services rates from Eversource and United Illuminating with those from licensed electric suppliers and registered aggregators.
Third-suppliers have, as of late, been a good option for ratepayers.
According to the CT Consumer Counsel, residential Eversource customers who chose suppliers saved, in aggregate, $16.2 million than the Standard Offer in March while residential UI customers who chose suppliers saved in aggregate $2.3 million more than the Standard Offer.