Eversource, UI increase rates in CT: Here's what you need to know (2023)

This story is part of CT Mirror Explains, an ongoing effort to distill our wide-ranging reporting into a "what you need to know" format. To dive deeper on any element of this topic, use the links in the story.

Original reporting by Andrew Brown and Keith Phaneuf. Compiled by Gabby DeBenedictis.

On Nov. 17, both Eversource and United Illuminating — Connecticut’s two investor-owned electric utilities — notified state regulators that the price their customers pay for power generation willjump by roughly 50% early next year.

Eversource, UI increase rates in CT: Here's what you need to know (2)

Related Stories

Eversource, UI will cut electric rates for some, but not until 2024

(Video) 40% Electric Rate Increase in 2023 for CT | EverSource & UI | Premier Improvements Solar

CT lawmakers help boost low-income home energy program

In special session, CT legislature extends gas tax holiday

The announcement comes in the wake of two years of uncertainty after Eversource and UI suspended controversial rate hikes in the summer of 2020. That incident led to an investigation by state regulators, a call from U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal to consider breaking up the monopoly and, ultimately, a new rate-setting process at the end of 2020.

A small rate decrease followed in 2021, but rates are now on the rise.

(Video) Eversource rate increase in connecticut

The state offers financial assistance to households struggling to pay their energy bills, but only to those below a certain income threshold.

Here’s what you need to know.

Connecticut homes are expensive to heat.

According to data from the Energy Information Administration, Connecticut had the second-highest residential electric bills on average in 2021, only behind Hawaii.

That’s because United Illuminating and Eversource are two of the most expensive investor-owned utilities in the country based on a price per kilowatt-hour basis.

Many of the investor-owned utilities in New England have some of the highest residential electricity prices in the country.

Energy costs are spiking this winter.

United Illuminating, which powers homes and businesses inBridgeport, New Haven and 15 surrounding towns, said its average power customer would soon need to pay roughly $79 more per month for electricity.

And Eversource, which supplies electricity to customers inHartford, Stamford, Danbury, New London and 145 other towns, said its average customer would likely need to pay an additional $84 per month due to the rising cost of natural gas and the price of power production in the Northeastern United States.

Eversource and UI don’t control the price of the energy supply.

The prices are set by the owners of regional power generators, which submit offers to sell power. The utilities pass those costs on to consumers without making any profit.

The utilities do make a profit from rates they charge for maintaining their power lines and distribution system in Connecticut.

The companies are taking steps to help mitigate bills this winter.

Eversource and United Illuminating already dedicate a portion of their revenue from service contracts to help provide relief to low- and low-to-moderate-income households.

(Video) Eversource rate hike in Connecticut: how to reduce your energy costs

The companies filed a motion recently with state utility regulators to allow them to front-load that relief. In other words, rather than spread out profits to provide bill assistance over the next year, the funds would be focused primarily to mitigate bills for needy households during the winter months.

Eversource is contributing $10 million toward energy assistance programs outside of LIHEAP.

Three companies affiliated with Avangrid Inc. of Orange— United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas — are splitting equally a $3 million contribution, which is a penalty payment approved recently by state utility regulators stemming from improper wage garnishments and failure to inform some customers about payment options.

Eversource and UI will permanently reduce energy costs for qualifying households …

In 2020,state lawmakers passed a bill that was known as the “Take Back Our Grid” act. That legislation, for the first time, gave the state’sPublic Utilities Regulatory Authoritythe power to develop a special set of electric rates for the lowest-income residents in the state. Earlier this year, the three members ofPURA voted to create two new classes of power customers in Connecticut.

Any residential customer who is living at or below 160% of thefederal poverty guidelineswould see the normal cost of electricity reduced by 50%. That means an individual that takes home less than $21,744 or a family of four earning $44,400 or less would be eligible to cut their power bills in half.

At the same time, any residential power customer that takes home less than 60% of the state’s median income would get a 10% discount on their electric rates. That group would includeindividuals earning $39,761 or less per year or a family of four earning roughly $76,465or less annually.

… but not for a couple of years.

Both Eversource and United Illuminating have said they are working to implement the new discounted rates, which wereofficially approved in October, but the two utilities told PURA that they would be unable to achieve all of the necessary billing and accounting changes for some time.

United Illuminating informed PURA that it could take up to 11 monthsfor the company to fully implement the new rates. AndEversource said it would potentially be 16 months before the lower rates show up on people’s power bills.

As a result, PURA gave both utilities until the beginning of 2024 to sort out the logistics and implement the new rates.

The state offers energy payment assistance to qualifying households.

LIHEAP, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, helps low-income households in Connecticut pay for home energy costs. It funds the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, which opened its application period on Sept. 1 for the upcoming winter season.

(Video) Understand Your Electric Bill from Eversource

Households are eligible if they have an income at or below 60% of the state median income. For a family of four, that median income is around $76,400. Those who qualify can receive between $100 to $600 based on income, household size and if that household has a vulnerable member.

CT allocated more funding for that program this year.

The program traditionally is funded with federal grants. Connecticut has received about $94 million from Washington this year and has another $6 million carried over from last year’s budget.

This week, Connecticut committed close to $30 million in additional state funds, if necessary, to bolster LIHEAP. The additional $30 million would be spent only if Congress doesn’t bolster federal resources for LIHEAP between now and January.

Gov. Ned Lamont noted that the $135 million state budget for winter energy assistance would match last year’s level. But energy assistance advocates say that’s far too little and want a LIHEAP budget slightly larger than $200 million.

The funding will help qualifying families get more aid.

Department of Social Services Commissioner Deidre Gifford said the $30 million in state funds that legislators committed last week will translate into more aid, on average, per household.

State officials crafted a distribution plan in late August that offers a basic benefit of $250 to $600 per household, depending on income and other factors.

But families also may qualify for one to three additional “crisis” payments of $430 each to get through the winter.

Gifford said the revised benefit schedule being developed would add an additional crisis payment, though she didn’t mention how much the extra payment would be or how many households might be eligible for it.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly reported that United Illuminating made a $3 million donation to support energy assistance for costumers, when in fact three companies affiliated with Avangrid Inc. of Orange— United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas — agreed to pay $1 million each as part of a penalty payment stemming from improper wage garnishments and failure to inform some customers about payment options.

FAQs

Are Eversource rates going up in CT? ›

17, both Eversource and United Illuminating — Connecticut's two investor-owned electric utilities — notified state regulators that the price their customers pay for power generation will jump by roughly 50% early next year.

What is the rate for Eversource in CT? ›

Eversource 2021 through 2023
Eversource Eversource 2021-Present Residential Standard Service Generation Supply Rates (cents/kWh)
Rate 18.3917.003
Rate 58.3917.003
Rate 7 Peak11.0399.557
Rate 7 Off-Peak7.5396.057
4 more rows

What raises electric bill the most? ›

What Uses the Most Electricity in My Home?
  • Air conditioning and heating: 46 percent.
  • Water heating: 14 percent.
  • Appliances: 13 percent.
  • Lighting: 9 percent.
  • TV and Media Equipment: 4 percent.

Is UI part of Eversource? ›

Eversource Energy and AVANGRID Inc. subsidiaries The United Illuminating Company, Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas implement Energize Connecticut, the state's energy efficiency initiative.

What is the average monthly electric bill in Connecticut? ›

On average, residents pay: $166/month for electricity. $76/month for heating oil. $39/month for natural gas.

What is the average cost of living increase for CT? ›

Did the Cost of Living in Hartford, CT increase in 2023? Hartford, CT area prices were up 1.7% from a year ago. The largest increases were found in Transportation, Food, and Housing.

Is Eversource raising rates in CT 2023? ›

According to officials, customers will see their electric bills increase by about $80 a month. Eversource said global demand has resulted in historically high energy supply prices. Energy supply prices change twice a year, and this rate hike would last at least from Jan. 1, 2023, through June 30, 2023.

Why are electric rates so high in CT? ›

(WFSB) - According to energy experts, customers in Connecticut pay more for electricity than the national average electric bill. Why are prices more expensive here in the Nutmeg state, and New England in general? The two main reasons we see higher electric bills is our location and the war in Ukraine.

How can I lower my electric bill in CT? ›

Run Electric Appliances during Off-Peak Hours

You can save hundreds of dollars in a year when you use large electric appliances during off-peak hours when electric rates in CT are low. The energy rates are usually very high during peak hours because many people use electricity at that time.

Why has my electric bill doubled 2022? ›

There are several factors that can cause suppliers' gas and electricity prices to go up or down. Market forces can cause the wholesale price of gas to rise or fall which then has a knock-on effect on energy bills. This is why prices rose twice in 2021 and have risen twice in 2022 - you can find more details here.

Why has my energy bill tripled? ›

Why are energy bills rising? The price rise has been caused by an increase in wholesale gas prices (the amount that energy firms pay), which have seen a steep rise since October 2021.

What uses most electricity in a house? ›

Top five energy consuming home appliances
  • Wet appliances. Washing machines, dishwashers and tumble dryers account for 14% of a typical energy bill, taking the top spot in our list. ...
  • Cold appliances. ...
  • Consumer electronics. ...
  • Lighting. ...
  • Cooking.
Jan 14, 2022

What is UI in electricity? ›

“WHAT IS UI (UNSCHEDULED INTERCHANGE) 10. In addition to two charges, a third charge contemplated in the ABT scheme is for the unscheduled interchange of power (UI charges). The UI charges are payable depending upon what is deviated from the schedule and also subject to the grid conditions at that point of time.

Who owns UI? ›

United Illuminating is a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. Avangrid Networks combines the resources and expertise of eight electric and natural gas utilities with an $11.7 billion rate base serving 3.3 million customers in New York and New England.

Where does UI serve in CT? ›

(NYSE: AGR). Established in 1899, UI is engaged in the purchase, transmission, distribution and sale of electricity and related services to approximately 342,928 residential, commercial and industrial customers in the greater New Haven and Bridgeport areas of Connecticut.

Is 2000 kWh a month a lot? ›

How much electricity does the average person use per month? According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average U.S. person consumed approximately 877 kWh per month in 2019, but it can vary from anywhere between 700 and 2000 kWh depending on the size of your property and your daily habits.

How much electricity a month is normal? ›

In 2021, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,632 kilowatthours (kWh), an average of about 886 kWh per month.

Does CT have the highest utility rates? ›

While utility rates in Connecticut can be considered expensive in comparison to many other states, they are not the highest in the United States. The term utility rates could cover natural gas, water or electricity. But even using that measure, Connecticut has some of the nation's highest utility bills.

Why are CT electric bills so high? ›

Much of the reason for those costs has to do with the region's reliance on natural gas to fuel its power plants, along with a limited supply of cheaper, renewable alternatives such as hydroelectric or solar power.

Is electricity going up 2022? ›

There are several factors that can cause suppliers' gas and electricity prices to go up or down. Market forces can cause the wholesale price of gas to rise or fall which then has a knock-on effect on energy bills. This is why prices rose twice in 2021 and have risen twice in 2022 - you can find more details here.

Are electricity prices going up again? ›

Ofgem have announced that from 1 October, most people will pay about £1,570 more per year for gas and electricity. This increase is because the energy price cap, set by energy regulator Ofgem , is set to jump by 80 per cent to reflect rising wholesale energy costs for energy suppliers.

What will rates be in 2023? ›

The Fed's key benchmark borrowing rate is projected to rise another three-quarters of a percentage point in 2023, hitting a 17-year high of 5-5.25 percent from its current 4.25-4.5 percent level, according to the Fed's median projection from December.

Will rates go down 2023? ›

But a steady decline in rates the past two months have convinced more economists that rates could level off through early 2023, barring an economic downturn. The average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 6.33% for the week ending January 12, down from 6.48% in the previous week, according to Freddie Mac.

What will electricity cost in 2023? ›

Our forecast per unit rate for Q123 for electricity, for example, is 66.76 p/kWh which compares with 34.00 p/kWh under the EPG, while the figures for gas are 17.05 p/kWh and 10.30 p/kWh respectively.

Videos

1. 01-23-2023 Board of Selectmen Budget Meeting
(Town of Willington CT Official)
2. Connecticut residents facing massive increase in Eversource bill
(FOX 61)
3. PURA hearing on Eversource
(FOX 61)
4. Eversource and UI are under fire with recent massive rate increases
(FOX 61)
5. Connecticut lawmakers react to potential energy price hikes
(FOX 61)
6. News conference on energy rates
(Governor Ned Lamont)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanael Baumbach

Last Updated: 03/17/2023

Views: 6390

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (75 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanael Baumbach

Birthday: 1998-12-02

Address: Apt. 829 751 Glover View, West Orlando, IN 22436

Phone: +901025288581

Job: Internal IT Coordinator

Hobby: Gunsmithing, Motor sports, Flying, Skiing, Hooping, Lego building, Ice skating

Introduction: My name is Nathanael Baumbach, I am a fantastic, nice, victorious, brave, healthy, cute, glorious person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.