Pending Regulatory Approval, Standard Service Will Decrease 35% for Six Month Period beginning July 1, 2023
ORANGE, Conn. – Wednesday, May 17, 2023 – United Illuminating, a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), today announced that the company filed its power procurement for energy supply for the six-month period beginning July 1, 2023, estimating that the average residential customer with see a monthly bill decrease of approximately $28. The result was filed for approval with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which oversees the procurement of power for Standard Service. By law, utility companies in Connecticut are required to procure Standard Service on behalf of their customers, which is entirely a pass-through rate at no markup or profit to the utility company.
“The energy generation rates that went into effect in January have been challenging for our customers, so we are pleased to file this updated Standard Service rate with PURA that will bring lower prices for our customers on the generation portion of their bill over the next six months,” said UI President and CEO Frank Reynolds. “While a lower generation rate beginning in July is welcome news for customers, our region remains at the mercy of a New England energy market that faces significant issues. While we are pleased that our customers will see lower bills this summer, the underlying issues that drove this winter’s exorbitant price increases remain unaddressed, and we will continue to call for accountability and reform until the market delivers the stable, affordable pricing and reliability our customers deserve.”
With this filing, United Illuminating is anticipating that the Standard Service price for UI residential customers will decrease from 21.94 to 14.37 cents per Kilowatt Hour (kWh) beginning July 1, 2023 – a bill decrease impact of 35%, or average monthly decrease of $28 for the typical UI residential customer. The Standard Service price is the cost of energy used by customers, and purchased by UI on their behalf without any markup or profit. Energy prices across the globe have increased, especially natural gas – the primary fuel in New England – due to supply chain constraints, high inflation, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Due to these factors, prices for Standard Service remain elevated as compared to the six-month period spanning July-January 2022. UI serves as a pass-through mechanism for the recovery of these costs and does not profit form them in in any way.
Cost adjustments will also take place on the delivery portion of customer’s bills beginning July 1, which captures adjustments to the transmission, NBFMCC, Systems Benefit Charge, and Revenue Decoupling Mechanism components of the bill. This is primarily due to the expiration of the Millstone energy credit that was in place between January-July. Combined, UI customers enrolled in Standard Service and consuming 700 kWh per month will see an overall decrease of $28 per month, a bill reduction of 11.5%.
To help customers manage the unprecedented spike in energy supply costs, in January 2023, UI announced the implementation of an urgent financial relief package that will deliver approximately $40 monthly in direct financial relief to customers enrolled as financial hardship between January-July. Additionally, UI directed $3.3 million to Operation Fuel to support the organization’s mission to provide emergency energy and utility assistance to households in Connecticut that are facing financial crisis. The measures were designed in partnership with the Administration of Governor Lamont and the Office of Consumer Counsel, and approved by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.
Since January, UI, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Connecticut Natural Gas have held over seven customer service events in local communities, enrolling more than 300 customers in bill management programs. The companies also worked with local organizations like Operation Fuel and local Community Action Agencies to make information about additional financial aid assistance programs available.
For more information or to become qualified, customers can visit the company website or contact UI at 800.722.5584. Customers seeking financial assistance and relief from Operation Fuel can apply directly to Operation Fuel here.
UI continues to remind customers of the programs the company offers to help them manage their bill, including:
- Bill Forgiveness Program (UI Only) – This program helps low-income customers maintain year-round service and pay down delinquent balances by company-matched dollars. A payment arrangement plan helps qualified hardship customers pay past-due electric bills. Under BFP, if payments are current, a past-due balance can be "forgiven" over time.
- Flexible Payment Arrangements – UI, SCG, and CNG will work with customers if they are having trouble paying their utility bill. UI, SCG, and CNG offer flexible payment arrangements for all customers needing assistance. These arrangements can be spread out up to 18 months for residential customers and 6 months for non-residential customers. Current payment arrangements may be renegotiated due to a change in financial circumstances Per Conn. Agencies Reg. § 16-3-100(b)(3)(A). These arrangements may be discussed confidentially by calling UI Customer Care Center at 800-722-5584 or SCG Customer Care at 800-659-8299 or CNG Customer Care at 860-524-8361
- Called to Active Duty? – Customers may qualify for temporary suspension of collections action and disconnection of their electric service if they are called into active duty in the U.S. military.
- Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible (HES-IE) – Through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, United Illuminating administers the HES-IE program. This weatherization program is designed to help customers with limited income or financial needs reduce their energy bills.
For more information on financial assistance programs offered by UI, please visit the UI website or call 800.722.5584. For more information on assistance and programs offered by SCG, visit the SCG website or call 800.659.8299. For more information on assistance programs offered by CNG, visit the CNG website or call 860.524.8361 or 203.869.6900.
Though many customers are on the UI Standard Service rate, some customers elect to purchase electricity directly from independent suppliers. Customers are encouraged to review their bill to make sure they know who their supplier of choice is, and the end date of their service. Customers can visit https://energizect.com/rate-board/choosing-a-supplier to compare prices.
UI is also reminding residents of simple actions they can take to help make their home as efficient as possible and reduce the impact of rising supply costs on their energy bill.
- Install wall-outlet and switch-plate gaskets to reduce the flow of cold air.
- Install storm windows, or purchase window insulator kits to reduce drafts.
- Be sure your home’s insulation meets U.S. Department of Energy specifications for your geographic area, and that ceilings, walls, and floors over unfinished crawl spaces are all properly insulated.
- Insulate hot water pipes.
- Install storm doors to reduce heat transfer to the outside.
Heating & Cooling
- Have your heating equipment periodically checked by a service professional.
- Dust or vacuum radiator surfaces and vents frequently and keep them unobstructed.
- Keep insulated drapes or shades closed in summer and open on sunny winter days. Close curtains or drapes on winter nights to reduce heat loss.
- Close fireplace dampers when not in use to keep heated or cooled air from escaping up the chimney.
- Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree above 68º F can use 3% more energy.
- Open windows in spring and fall rather than using air conditioning.
- Install programmable or wi-fi thermostat to automatically control heating and cooling.
- Clean or replace furnace filters periodically, and have your furnace burner checked and cleaned annually.
- Use ceiling or portable fans in place of room air conditioners whenever possible.
- If you use electric heat, consider replacing it with a high efficiency ductless heat pump system, which can cut electricity use by as much as 50 percent.
# # #