Electricity costs: CT customers will start to see rate decreases from Eversource, UI

Photo of Luther Turmelle
A sign in front of the United Illuminating Operations Center on Marsh Hill Rd. in Orange photographed on August 10, 2020.

A sign in front of the United Illuminating Operations Center on Marsh Hill Rd. in Orange photographed on August 10, 2020.

Arnold Gold / Hearst Connecticut Media

Customers of the state’s two largest utilities who get standard offer service will see the generation portion of their electric bills decrease by a little less than $10 per month starting July 1, according to officials with Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).

A customer of Eversource Energy who uses an average of 700 kilowatt hours of electricity per month will see their monthly electric bills reduced by about $9.50 — roughly 4 percent. Those using the same amount of electricity through The United Illuminating Co. will see their monthly electric bills decrease by roughly $9, or 6 percent.

The decrease in electric rates, as represented by the amount charged per kilowatt hours, does not guarantee a customer’s overall bill will be reduced. A customer’s total bill is largely driven by energy usage, according to PURA officials.

The standard service offer from both Eversource and UI means that customers that the two utilities buy the electricity they use rather than selecting a third party power provider. Nearly 80 percent of Connecticut’s residential customers receive standard service generation.

The rates for standard service change twice a year in January and July. How much those rates increase or decrease depends upon the outcome of a competitive bidding process, which is overseen by PURA.

As a general rule, standard service rates rise in January as a result of higher regional winter prices for natural gas, which is the fuel used by most of the region’s power plants. Standard service rates tend to decrease in July.

In both cases, the rate that is set remains in effect until the next adjustment takes place.

Robert Epstein, an Eversource customer who lives in Cheshire, said that while the decrease in the standard service charge is a good thing, “we should be seeing that regularly.”

“The utilities should be providing annual decreases to their customers as they make productivity improvements,” Epstein said.

luther.turmelle@hearstmediact.com