Reducing Fixed Charges for Electric Customers

CT's Residential Monthly Fixed ChargeVICTORY! UI's fixed charge reduced to $9.64/month

Read our Press Release (12/14/16)

In 2015, a coalition of 30+ groups joined with the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs and Acadia Center to win legislation to stop runaway fixed charges for residential electric customers.  Fixed charges are flat monthly rates that the customer must pay just to have access to electricity.  Over the last decade, fixed charges for residential customers more than doubled – to the highest (Eversource/CL&P, $19.25/month) and second highest (United Illuminating, $17.25/month) in New England for any major electric utility.  Eversource residential customers in MA pay monthly fixed charges of less than $7.

The new CT law clearly defines and limits what costs can be included in the fixed charge:

“…only the fixed costs and operation and maintenance expenses directly related to metering, billing, service connections and the provision of customer service."

This law was tested for the first time with the 2016 application from United Illuminating (UI) to increase its rates and charges. The outcome will also have a direct impact on the next rate case for Eversource, expected in 2017.

The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) submitted expert testimony showing that UI’s residential fixed charge should be $7.63/month under the new law.

On December 14, 2016, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) announced its decision to
reduce UI's residential fixed charge  to $9.64
-- a 45% reduction and below the cap of $10/month
we sought in our 2015 legislative campaign!

While PURA's decision has an immediate impact on UI's customers, it sets a precedent for the next Eversource rate case (anticipated next year), and it could embolden other states to take a tougher stand in the ongoing national battle over rising fixed charges.

High fixed charges reduce consumers’ control over their energy costs and hurt progress on energy efficiency and clean energy, hindering the growth of a green jobs economy.


Take Action

Tell the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) thank you for enforcing the law and reducing UI's residential fixed charge.

 

Some Resources