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Eversource announces a major increase in electricity rates

Eversource, which supplies electricity to this part of Connecticut, has announced that its rates will increase by more than 20% beginning on Jan. 1, 2022.

This can be confusing, since Gov. Ned Lamont and the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)have been saying for months that they are taking punitive measures against the power company because of its poor response to customer needs during Storm Isaias.

Joe Cooper, who is a spokesman for PURA, said that the reason for the rate increase has its roots in the state’s decision to deregulate electric supply in 1998.

The idea was that, with deregulation, customers would be allowed to choose from a number of suppliers, and that this would create competition and bring prices down.

As a result, electric bills are broken down into two sections: supply and delivery.

The state regulates delivery.

But supply is based on what wholesalers are charging for energy and so the price can fluctuate quite a bit, which is what will happen this January.

Cooper said that, as with many things in 2021, suppliers are having trouble keeping up with demand and therefore prices are increasing.

In general, prices do go down in summer. The rate is expected to go down again on July 1.

In her email newsletter, state Rep. Maria Horn said that, in aggregate, Eversource customers are likely to see increases in their total bill of 37% over the January 2021 cost of electricity.

While of course the power company makes money from every kilowatt hour of electricity that its customers use, Eversource does legitimately want customers to reduce their electric use. The company not only has to buy electric power on the open market, it also has challenges in delivering power to all customers.

There are many tips on the Eversource website for reducing electric use; and the company offers a professional in-home assessment of usage for $50. Go to www.eversource.com; it can be quicker to call the company than to fill out its online application form.

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