Eversource Energy – Connecticut’s largest utility provider delivering electricity to 1.2 million customers – is seeking approval to implement a significant rate increase that will raise the cost of energy for Connecticut ratepayers by nearly $1 billion over three years.

Based on their formal submission to the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), Eversource is requesting approval to raise distribution rates by approximately $255.8 million for calendar year 2018, an additional $45 (totaling $300.8 million) for 2019 and additional $36 million (totaling $336.8 million) for 2020. These increases would significantly add to the electricity bill of Connecticut consumers, who already pay one of the highest rates in the continental United States.

According to their earnings statements, Eversource reported a full-year 2016 earnings of $942.3 million and recently stated they project a long-term growth of 5 to 7 percent per year.

“The distribution portion represents the largest percentage of the Connecticut consumer’s total electric costs so any increase adds to the financial strain and burden of every Eversource ratepayer, but will significantly impact older customers and those living on a fixed or low-income,” said John Erlingheuser, AARP Connecticut, director of advocacy and outreach.

According to a wide-ranging survey by AARP Research, nearly three quarters (73%) of Connecticut registered voters are concerned about the rising costs of electricity. The full results of the 2016 report can be found online.

Erlingheuser added, “Although they consume approximately as much energy as younger people do, older Americans devote a higher percentage of their total spending to residential energy costs and a greater proportion of their income to heat their homes. AARP encourages all consumers to challenge utility rate increase proposals in order to ensure utility companies receive only what is fair and reasonable – so they can keep more of the money they’ve earned.”

AARP Connecticut is urging residents to use their power and take action by attending an upcoming public hearing:

• Wednesday, Jan. 24, at 6:00 p.m.: Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT

• Tuesday, Jan. 30, at 6:00 p.m.: Stamford Government Center, Lobby, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford, CT

• Wednesday, Jan. 31, at 6:00 p.m.: Branford Fire Department, Training Room, 45 North Main Street, Branford, CT

• Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 6:00 p.m.: New London City Hall, Council Chambers, City of New London, 181 State Street, New London, CT