HARTFORD, CT (STL.News) Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed legislation that increases accountability among Connecticut’s utility companies by implementing a performance-based incentive system that ensures their earnings and profits are tied to good performance and certain penalties can be enacted amid extensive service disruptions.
Under the legislation, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will be responsible for establishing the system, which will focus on several factors such as safety, reliability, storm response, affordability, the state’s environmental goals, customer satisfaction, communication with municipalities, and equity.
The bill also enables PURA to implement an interim rate decrease, low-income rate, and economic development rates that provide consumer relief during the current recession, directs the administration to investigate whether Connecticut’s participation in the wholesale energy markets administered by the regional independent system operator advances the state’s policy goals, and expands a program that protects critical infrastructure from the threat of severe weather and other climate impacts.
“Utility companies provide a critical service that can quite literally mean life or death in certain situations, and ratepayers deserve a level of respect that puts them above profits,” Governor Lamont said. “I congratulate Senator Needleman, Representative Arconti, Senator Formica, Representative Ferraro, and subject-matter experts and stakeholders across the state on sending a bill to my desk that sets Connecticut firmly on the path toward tying utility rates to utility companies’ performance.”
The legislation is House Bill 7006, An Act Concerning Emergency Response by Electric Distribution Companies, the Regulation of Other Public Utilities and Nexus Provisions for Certain Disaster-Related or Emergency-Related Work Performed in the State.
It was approved by near-unanimous margins in both chambers of the state legislature, with only four Republicans in the House voting against the bill.