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AARP Connecticut Urges PURA to Deny Eversource & United Illuminating Rate Increase Requests

Utility Bill Money Picture

AARP Connecticut encourages potentially impacted ratepayers to voice their position on the rate increase requests.

AARP Connecticut submitted comments to the Connecticut Public Regulatory Authority (PURA) in opposition to requests for sizable electricity rate increases by Eversource Energy and United Illuminating Company. 
“AARP calls on PURA to reject the latest rate increase proposals by Eversource and United Illuminating,” said John Erlingheuser, AARP Connecticut Senior Advocacy Director. “The excessive rate increase requests are an unnecessary and uneconomic expense on Connecticut ratepayers, especially older and low-income residents, who are struggling to pay their utility bills along with other household expenses like food and medicine. We urge PURA to fully examine Eversource and UI’s recent performances and consider the impact and unfair burden these increases would add for residents.”

The comments AARP Connecticut submitted to PURA follows:

CT PURA Docket 24-01-03

COMMENTS OF AARP CONNECTICUT – March 15, 2024

PURA ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE RATE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISMS OF THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY

AARP hereby submits comments on Connecticut Light and Power Company (“CL&P”) rate adjustment mechanisms case on behalf of its members in Connecticut. AARP represents residential customers age 50+ and their families. Many of our members are on fixed incomes or are low income and struggle to make ends meet in this inflationary environment.

A 18.67% residential rate, for the single-step rate phase-in, increase to take effect on May 1, 2024. The proposed phase-In plan merely defers a larger increase over two steps with a second and much larger 16.14% increase on July 1, 2024. We urge residential customer impacts to be top of mind in evaluating the request of CL&P.

Our specific issues are as follows:

The rate increase is too high.
The PURA should determine the cost effectiveness and need for the $784 million spending request for CL&P. The average CL&P residential customers will experience an annual approximate bill increase of $304.56 which is too high.

Unnecessary or uneconomic spending should be rejected. An extensive review of CL&P’s known and measurable adjustments in this file must be completed with only just and reasonable adjustments used to modify customer rates.

The phase-In proposal does not help customers.
The PURA should not authorize any phase-In rate adjustment in this proceeding as any deferred increase will be borne by customers at slightly later date, plus additional carrying costs.

Rather than deferring any portion of rate increases for CL&P, PURA should only adjust customer rates a single time. A single adjustment would allow a modicum of additional stability for customer bills.

Finally, any revenue increase in this proceeding should only reflect just and reasonable expenditures made by CL&P after a thorough and complete review by PURA and intervening parties.

We appreciate this opportunity to comment.

John Erlingheuser
AARP Connecticut Senior Associate State Director, Advocacy 
 

CT PURA Docket 24-01-04

COMMENTS OF AARP CONNECTICUT – March 15, 2024

PURA ANNUAL REVIEW OF THE RATE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISMS OF THE UNITED ILLUMINATING COMPANY

AARP hereby submits comments on the United Illuminating Company (“UI”) rate adjustment mechanisms case on behalf of its members in Connecticut. AARP represents residential customers, particularly the over fifty population. Many of our members are on fixed incomes. Others are low income and struggle to make ends meet in this inflationary environment.

A 12.33% residential rate increase to take effect on May 1, 2024, appears excessive. We urge residential customer impacts to be top of mind in evaluating the request of UI.

Our specific issues are as follows:

The rate increase is too high.
The PURA should determine the cost effectiveness and need for the $174.45 million spending request for UI. The average UI residential customers will experience an annual approximate bill increase of $359.36 which is too high.

Unnecessary or uneconomic spending should be rejected. An extensive review of UI’s known and measurable adjustments in this file must be completed with only just and reasonable adjustments used to modify customer rates.

The testimony provided by UI does not clearly explain the excessive increase requested to customer rates.

The PURA should not authorize any adjustment to customer rates based on the testimony provided by UI in this case. A reasonable person cannot reconcile the how UI calculated their requested revenue increase. The known and measurable changes noted in the testimony do not clearly align with the calculations provided in UI’s exhibits. Customers must be able to understand their electricity bill to allow customers, especially those on a fixed income, to manage the size of their bills month to month.

We appreciate this opportunity to comment.

John Erlingheuser
AARP Connecticut Senior Associate State Director, Advocacy

About AARP Connecticut
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