Connecticut Post (Sunday)
Relief likely in sight on power bills
After three months of paying dramatically higher electric rates, there may be some relief coming this summer for a majority of Connecticut electric customers.
The state’s two largest electric distribution companies, Eversource Energy and The United Illuminating Co., are in the midst of procuring electricity for their standard offer service customers to use during the second half of this year. And although the procurement process won’t be completed for several more weeks and new rates won’t take effect until July1, officials with the companies and a spokesman for Connecticut’s utility regulators have said they expect significantly lower electric rates than what most people are paying now.
“We should also be seeing a lowering of prices this summer,” said Jim Shuckerow, Eversource Energy’s director of electric supply. “We have a winter pricing problem, not a summer pricing problem.”
The rates Eversource’s standard offer customers are now paying are 31 percent to 42 percent higher than what they paid in 2022. UI standard offer customers are paying 28 percent to 38 percent more than in 2022.
Joe Cooper, a spokesman for Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, said agency officials are “encouraged by the recent market trends and what that could mean for standard service rates come July 1.”
“Historically, standard service rates generally decrease in the second half of the year as it is typically less expensive to generate electricity in the region during these months,” Cooper said. “Comparatively, standard service rates increase in the first half of the year due to higher regional winter prices for natural gas, which fuels most of the region’s wholesale power.”
Over the past decade, there have only been four occasions when Eversource or UI have seen standard service rates come in higher during the second half of the year than during the first six months.
Craig Gilvarg, a UI spokesman, said the Orange-based utility has already purchased 70 percent of the electricity it needs to supply standard service customers during the second half of this year.
‘We are conducting a procurement on April 19 to procure the remaining 30 percent,” Gilvarg said.
Both utilities will present their procurement results to PURA officials in late April for re