HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Connecticut executives have reached agreements with Eversource and United Illuminating (UI) to provide relief as customers face increases of up to 50% in their monthly electric bills.
The Customer Relief Plan will provide immediate relief to low- and middle-income families ahead of winter. However, Eversource and UI customers will still see their bills go up in 2023, Governor Ned Lamont announced Monday.
The governor said Eversource and UI will file a petition on Monday with the Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) for approval to establish monthly billing credits to expedite the return of revenue from long-term electricity contracts. term to all customers from January 1, 2023.
If approved, Lamont said it would provide Eversource customers with a monthly bill credit of about $10 a month — about 12.5% of the average customer increase this winter — for the winter months. peak starting January 1, 2023 and continuing through April.
“I think this is going to make a real difference in mitigating the high cost of energy and making life a little easier for our ratepayers here in Connecticut,” Lamont said.
State officials said data on the impact of this on Unemployment Insurance clients is being calculated and should be available soon.
“Your bill will automatically be reduced,” said Commissioner Katie Dykes, of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Lamont said an additional $30 million would be invested in the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). He said LIHEAP would provide significant savings to those earning up to $75,000. Eligible families generally receive benefits ranging from $100 to $600 in benefits.
“Last year we had 92,000 households registered with HIHEAP, which was the highest in eight years, and we expect more households to be registered this year,” said Commissioner Deidre Gifford of the Department of Social Services.
The two companies will also seek approval for a discount for struggling low-income customers. If approved, a lump sum credit would be offered to financially distressed customers beginning January 1, 2023, until the new PURA-approved low-income discount rate comes into effect in 2024.
On Monday, Lamont said Eversource would donate $10 million to Operation Fuel to help low-income families, and UI would donate a minimum of $3 million, subject to PURA approval.
Earlier this month, Eversource and UI filed new supply tariffs with PURA, citing continued global demand for natural gas.
On average, Eversource said its residential electric customers who use 700 kilowatt hours of electricity each month could see an increase of about 48% or $84.85 over their current monthly bill.
UI said its customers could see an increase of around 43% or $79.24 over their current monthly bill.
Unless PURA finds a problem with the plan, Eversource’s standard service rate for its residential customers will drop from 12.1 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 24.2 cents per kWh, down from 11.5 cents per kWh. last winter. UI said the rate for its residential customers would increase from 10.62 to 21.94 cents per kWh.
The companies said the new supply rates would be in effect from January 1, 2023 to June 30, 2023. The supply rate changes on January 1 and July 1 each year.
The supply portion of the bill is considered a “pass-through” cost, according to Eversource, which said the price does not generate profit for the company. Suppliers generate the electricity, which Eversource then purchases and transmits to the power grid. Customers looking for a cheaper rate can select a third-party provider if they wish.
If you need help heating your home, call 211 or apply through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program. Basic benefits for heating bills range from $410 to $1,015, depending on household income level.
Nearly 52,000 households have already applied for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program this season. Benefits are available for households whose income is up to 60% of the state median income, or about $75,465 for a family of four.
Eversource You can visit Eversource.com/Billhelp to learn more about payment options or call 1-800-286-2828 (electric) or 800-438-2278 (gas).
Eversource will host two webinars to help customers understand their options on December 1 and 8.
United Illuminating also has several programs to help customers who need help paying their bills. Customers can visit the UI website or call (800) 722-5584 for more information.+
Operation Fuel Assistance provides emergency energy and utility assistance to people facing financial crisis. Call (860) 243-2345 or visit https://operationfuel.org/gethelp/.
Connecticut residents can compare energy prices on EnergizeCT and sign up with an alternative energy provider.
Unite CT offers heating assistance for tenants and landlords. Eligible tenants with overdue or unpaid utility bills can receive funding for their Eversource or UI accounts.
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