Why have electricity and utility prices spiked?
Electricity prices and utility bills have spiked in recent months:
On July 1 this year electricity prices (per kw hour unit) went up by 25% over last year. On Jan 1, 2023 a larger increase is expected. This spike comes over and above the high electricity prices we have had in past years. These high electricity prices are adding hundreds of dollars per month to utility bills and are unacceptable.
Recent steep increases are being driven by generation component:
The electricity bill comprises of a generation component and a delivery component. In the past decade, it is the delivery component which has doubled. In the last 12 months it is the generation component which has gone up steeply. The generation component is going up because of high natural gas prices.
What policies can help reduce electricity prices?
There are several policy options available to reduce electricity prices:
Electricity prices can be reduced by effective regulation of the delivery charges. Twenty percent of the delivery charges are unfunded mandates imposed by the government.
Electricity prices can also be reduced by offering long-term stable price locks to consumers.
Finally, suitable investment in pipeline assets would also reduce prices but such investments are not being approved by our state.
My advocacy as a legislator
I have been a strong advocate for lower electricity prices in the legislature:
I have pressed on CT Department of Energy, and CT utility regulator (PURA) to focus on making electricity affordable. I have been vocal in my consumer advocacy in public hearings, in committee meetings and on the floor of the legislature. The current energy committee has completely sidestepped my proposals on affordability to further their own agenda.
As your next state Treasurer, I plan to continue to be a strong advocate for lower electricity prices:
My belief is that we need to plan for an orderly transition to clean energy while keeping prices affordable: During the transition to clean energy we need to ensure that there is sufficient investment and availability of conventional energy supplies. I need your support to continue the fight for affordability.