Conn. Senate passes bill to create more oversight of utility companies
- Jun 1, 2023 2:15 pm GMT
The bill, which builds on 2020 legislation in the wake of massive statewide outages from Tropical Storm Isaias, passed in a unanimous 35-0 vote after an hour-long debate.
It next heads to the
It would also emulate 16 states and establish a fund for ratepayers to oppose rate-increases proposals, and according to legislative proponents, create a tougher regulatory structure overseeing state utilities.
"Public utilities do not operate in a free market," said Sen.
"These profits are not made from competing with other private companies to provide the products and services," he said. "They are earned from our constituents who have no other choice in the market for a vital service. Let's prioritize the interests of millions of rate payers. They deserve reliable electricity at a fair price and utilities that are responsive to the needs of their rate payers. There are many, many event and organizations that are utility-sponsored and I applaud their efforts. We just want to make sure those efforts are not recovered on the backs of rate payers."
The bipartisan bill, which includes a tactic called decoupling, would also separate utilities' revenue from the needs of customers, setting up better oversight by establishing key metrics, including renewable sources, energy efficiency and customer satisfaction.
"In the winter, when residents of
Customer bills would be revised to better inform ratepayers.
"We need an all-the-above clean energy strategy in our state that incorporates wind and solar and hydro and nuclear and geothermal and everything that we have at our disposal to meet our environmental goals, but also to ensure that we have a reliable grid and that we have the lowest costs possible for consumers, for the working class, for the middle class, for small businesses in our state," Fazio said. "This is positive bill. This is the correct first step and this is the product of bipartisan policy making."
Senate Minority Leader
"These cases that are associated with rate proceedings, including the cost of attending and preparing for the hearings, really should be paid by the shareholders' profits to level the playing field and not by the rate payers,"
Senate Majority Leader
"We have all been in so many storms and so many times where we are frustrated by events that occur, natural events and responses as well, and doing what we can in this legislature to act on our constituents who have spoken so loudly and clearly about the issues that frustrate them on energy issues in
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