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July 2020 High Bill Concerns

 

We understand and share concerns that our customers are expressing regarding recent higher-than-normal bills. We recognize that this represents an unexpected and distressing increase during an already challenging time. 

Response to PURA Rate Suspension Order:

We are working quickly to enact PURA’s temporary suspension of the July 1 rate adjustment that contributed to these bills. We expect these changes will be reflected on your August bill. 

We also continue to work with customers one-on-one through our payment assistance and energy efficiency programs to help them lower their energy use and reduce their bills, recognizing that the weather continues to be warmer than normal and people are still adjusting their lives around COVID.

Summer heat and increased energy usage in the COVID environment may still lead to higher-than-usual bills in August, even after the July 1 rate adjustment is suspended. Consider these simple steps to lower your usage while still staying cool and comfortable. 

Customers still need to pay the amount shown on their July bills. If you are having difficulty paying your bill, we can connect you to programs and services to help. We are also offering our most flexible payment plan ever – up to 24 months – with no fees or interest.

Why are customers seeing increases in their bills, and in some cases, why do the delivery charges seem disproportionately larger than the supply cost of the electricity our customers are using? 

Two main factors have been driving the increase in customer bills.

1. Increase in electric usage

We all recognize energy bills often increase in the summer. In fact, this June was 13 degrees hotter than last year.

Combined with the fact that many customers are staying home due to COVID and using air conditioners, fans and other appliances to stay cool, we saw average energy usage increase 26% over June of last year. 

2. Fee increase to the delivery component of customer bills

The second reason is that there were two fee increases added to the delivery component of customers’ bills. NOTE: These fee increases have been suspended as of July 31 and will be reviewed by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

  • A state energy subsidy went into effect in July to support the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant’s continued operation. This appears on the delivery portion of customer bills under the Non-Bypassable Federally-Mandated Congestion Charge (NBFMCC). We and others argued against this new fee.

  • The transmission fee on our customers’ bills also increased. This increase supports grid reliability and the efficient operation of the high voltage transmission system that moves power across our state.  

Working With Customers

We take these concerns very seriously. We're committed to helping customers reduce their bills and can provide flexible payment options. Our customer care number is 800-286-2000. We're here to help.