Will Working Group Help Bring Lower Electricity Rates to Connecticut?

02.11.2010
Issues & Policies

Last month, Speaker of the House Chris Donovan (D-Meriden) created the Speaker’s Electricity Rate Relief Working Group to come up with energy policy recommendations that could reduce electric rates in Connecticut.  

The group included many of the players in the energy arena–consumers, utilities, government regulators and energy advocates. Missing from the group, however, were power generators and competitive suppliers–two important parts of the energy picture in Connecticut.  

While the group’s goal sounds simple, the reality is that it’s hard to reduce electricity rates. Among the group’s energy policy recommendations are

  • Retaining and expanding the competitive market for electricity while reviewing consumer protections. Competition brings choice, which helps consumers manage their costs.
  • Using the state’s Energy Efficiency Fund and Clean Energy Fund to assist customers with efficiency and clean energy projects. 
  • Conducting a cost-benefit analysis of the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS). For example, how much will it cost Connecticut to achieve 20% of its energy use from renewable resources by 2020?
  • Upgrading the region’s electricity infrastructure and diversifying its generation portfolio. This would make it easier and faster for power to get where it’s needed; and avoid putting all of the state’s energy “eggs” in one basket.
  • Reviewing the laddered procurement process utilities use for standard service to give them more flexibility to react to the market.

The group’s recommendations have been given to Speaker Donovan and the Energy Committee’s House chair, Rep. Vicki Nardello. It’s believed that they will decide which proposals they’d like to advance, and those measures will be brought before the Energy Committee.       

The General Assembly’s Energy and Technology Committee will receive some of the group’s recommendations for possible legislation. Time will tell which ideas, if any, will be adopted in the effort to reduce Connecticut’s electricity rates.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Kevin Hennessy at 860.244.1979 or kevin.hennessy@cbia.com.

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