World News – US – Outage Reimbursement, Low Income Tariffs Highlight CT Utility Bill

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Starting Wednesday, the Connecticut General Assembly will consider extending special rates to low-income family utility customers and reimbursing customers with extended outages, as part of a broader bill that would strengthen surveillance of Eversource and Avangrid

If passed as currently drafted, the bill would direct the Connecticut Utilities Regulatory Authority to move to a « performance-based » model for the oversight of utilities that is the model of Massachusetts and several other states, to include utility natural gas and water And the legislator would entrust to PURA a possible evolution towards a « temporary reduction of tariffs »

Lawmakers insisted the changes be made after prolonged power outages after Tropical Storm Isaias in August, and after customers angered over electricity bills that some saw doubling or tripling previous amounts The bill would allow PURA to penalize Eversource and the subsidiary Avangrid United Illuminating up to 4% of their annual revenues if it determines that they have not properly planned and responded to massive outages

Customers who experience outages longer than four days would receive a $ 25 credit on their bills for each additional day they were left in the dark, and could also claim up to $ 250 in additional compensation to replace them. spoiled food or medicine Utilities could request a waiver if they could prove that restoration efforts were slowed by the severity of a storm or the risks to employee safety

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee wants PURA to begin developing new regulations by next June, with legislation to be introduced by the state Sen Norm Needleman, D- 23rd and representing David Arconti, D-Danbury

Eversource and Avangrid haven’t objected to the concept of moving to performance-based regulation, although United Illuminating CEO three weeks ago called for a set of fair standards Eversource CEO Jim Judge , separately warned lawmakers that the company could be forced to seek rate hikes if faced with the prospect of massive sanctions following storms carrying Isaias’ punch

« Tariffs must have clear, measurable parameters that [the company] should adhere to, » said Tony Marone, president of the Avangrid Networks division which includes United Illuminating, in testimony to lawmakers in September. These measurements must take into account the severity of the storm for which the performance is being measured and the company must be able to have the necessary resources to respond to these measurements. »

PURA would be able to factor in utility failures to deliver expected service levels in future tariffs, across 10 broad categories including affordability, emergency response, and overall reliability Utilities should meet minimum endowment levels before major storms PURA would be required to review operational and financial performance every four years or more frequently at its discretion, to include profits and dividends paid to investors

PURA is currently approving tariffs based on a determination of the reasonableness of the operational and investment demands of utilities, while ensuring them a defined level of profitability

« We continue to discuss with lawmakers the proposals and how they will affect our customers, their reliability and affordability, » said Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross

Lawmakers removed several elements from an earlier bill While the new bill would allow PURA to reduce the amount of public service executive compensation that is borne by customer payments, the earlier version allegedly sought to recoup any compensation greater than the average or median pay of utility CEOs in a Maryland band in Maine The judge told lawmakers in late August he plans to take a pay cut next year, in part because of the outcry in Connecticut over the Isaias restoration

Lawmakers to give PURA nearly a year to analyze utility tariff requests PURA president Marissa Gillett had called for the change from the current five-month window, arguing that it was too little time to sift through the intricate details of utility tariffs

Eversource Energy, Connecticut, utility

World news – US – Outage payback, low-income tariffs highlight TB utility bill



SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/world-news-us-outage-reimbursement-low-income-tariffs-highlight-ct-utility-bill/?remotepost=354894

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