State regulators in Connecticut are hitting the brakes and suspending Eversource’s rate increase after hearing a cacophony of complaints from customers.
Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has instructed Eversource to restore prior rates as they investigate the utility company’s rate increases that saw some bills increasing by more than $100.
The announcement comes after thousands of Eversource customers rallied together in protest of the rate hike, which went into effect on Wednesday, July 1. Instead, PURA said that Eversource is to restore the rates that were in effect as of Tuesday, June 30.
PURA cited reasons such as the COVID-19 crisis and its effect on energy use, higher than normal temperatures, and the timing of the July 1 adjustment as reasons to roll back the rate increase.
“As a consequence, the Authority has received numerous correspondence and complaints related to the delivery charges incurred by Eversource ratepayers,” they said, noting that some lawmakers have also asked them to review and investigate the planned rate hike.
“The intent of this reexamination is to ensure that Eversource is not over-collecting revenues in the short term at the expense of ratepayers during this period of financial hardship,” PURA Executive Secretary Jeffrey Gaudiosi said.
Attorney General William Tong is calling on Eversource to explain how they calculate the delivery charge and why the delivery charges are higher.
“We’ve received complaints from well over 100 consumers regarding unaffordable increases in their energy bills,” he stated. “Consumers have a right to be angry. We pay far too much for our energy as it is here in Connecticut.
“I thank PURA for reconsidering and scrutinizing these increases, and for considering all possible avenues to assist consumers.”
On Friday, Eversource responded, saying that it will work with customers through “customer care programs.”
“We share the concerns of our customers and know that this is an unexpected cause of distress during an already challenging time,” Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner said. “We’re committed to working one-on-one with customers to help reduce their energy bills and to provide flexible payment solutions. “
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