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Electricity Consumers - Speak Up Now Against Higher Fixed Rate

CL&P and the United Illuminating (CT’s two largest producers of electricity) have highly paid lobbyists advocating for their positions to exploit consumers and punish us for conserving.  We, the consumers, need to be our own effective lobbyists; we need to speak up on behalf of our own pocketbooks and our families' financial well-being. As consumers, we also need to be in contact with our legislators to voice our concerns and support actions that we approve.

In an informative article in the Branford Eagle and relayed through the New Haven Independent, we learn the following information. 

“Consumers using CL& P and United Illuminating will see their fixed rate mount from $16 a month to $19.25 a month. The utility had sought a $25.50 per month increase.”

 The Utility companies are Punishing Those Who Conserve with HIGHER Fixed Charges.  Whatever CL&P can get away with, the UI will follow.  Consumers NEED to Get Involved.

 “Punishment Fees” Targeted.  

 “State Rep. Lonnie Reed (pictured) announced this week she will introduce legislation to cap fixed-rate charges on electric bills residents receive each month.

“I support legislation to cap the fixed rate because public policy and electric utility management are on a collision course and in dire need of a course correction. That process needs to start now.” The session begins Jan. 7.

The rate hike, recently approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is the latest sign of what Reed says is Connecticut Light & Power’s (CL&P’s) dismal reaction to renewable energy, a reaction she says that is both “frustrating and infuriating.” The utility is the largest in the state.

 “Punishment Fee”

Reed and a group of legislators said they want legislation to cap fixed fees for CL& P and United Illuminating Co. at $10 a month. The two companies are the state’s largest. A cap of $10 a month would mean $100 million annual shortfall for CL&P, its spokesman said.
The electric company, she said, “is penalizing us all for doing the right thing. This is a Punishment Fee for ratepayers.”

Reed says that CL&P, the largest utility in the state, pursued the fixed rate increase “in order to compensate for a reduced demand in electricity consumption.

“I have been comparing notes with legislators also batting this Punishment Fee in states such as Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Colorado. They tell me consumers are up in arms, and the customers in those states pay far less for electricity than do our consumers in Connecticut.

“What’s more, they say it has a negative impact on the demand for renewables. It makes one wonder if that is the intent.

“If we continue to go along with regular hikes in the fixed monthly service fee, we will set a new standard for incentivizing clean energy and conservation efforts with one hand and punishing them with the other. We cannot move forward to modernize and secure our power system with that approach.

“It is time that we all begin transitioning to a new economic model that values the contributions made by conservation, renewables, micro-grids and other upgrades to the diversity, reliability, environmental compatibility and security of the entire electric system.

“I recommend that a working group be quickly convened involving all of the stakeholders to begin the process reinventing the moribund economic model that is old and tired and infuriating and unsustainable. We need figure out how to incentivize our electric utilities to embrace change, not sabotage it.”

CL&P Responds  
Mitch Gross, a spokesman for CL&P, told the Eagle that “capping the fixed rate would negatively affect our ability to do the upgrade work at the high level that is needed and it would result in a rise in variable rates, which are linked directly to how much power is used. “

Maybe CL&P and UI executives could make a few millions less in ROI and executive compensation, so that more money goes back into the companies’ operations.

Please read the entire article linked here: http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/branford/entry/an_elec...

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