Electric Supply Prices Demonstrate Need to Reform Energy Market Structure


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We’re living through difficult times. Inflation, war in Ukraine, supply chain shortages – the
combined impact has led to higher costs across the board, from groceries to gasoline, and hit
our pocketbooks hard. Unfortunately, electricity supply is not immune to such cost increases.
With few local energy resources, New England must import fuels like natural gas to generate
electricity and heat homes. This makes our region particularly vulnerable to the dramatic
energy price increases we’ve seen across the globe.

In the late 1990s, the state required by law electric utilities, like United Illuminating (UI), to sell
its electric generation plants, in the hopes of creating a marketplace for customers to shop for
cheaper electric supply. Most customers do not shop for electric supply. Now, utilities like UI
are required to hold at least four quarterly procurements to procure power for six month time
periods, January through June and July through December, overseen by state regulators, to
purchase electric supply for customers, with the cost of supply passed along to our customers
without mark-up or profit.

This week, the resulting rates associated with these publicly-overseen procurements for
January through June 2023 were announced. The supply rate for residential customers will be
going up by 43%, an average monthly increase of $79 for our average residential customer for
January through June, 2023. This electricity supply is provided by third party, fossil generators.
None of the electric supply is generated by UI.

Electric generator supply costs have risen over 150% over the last three years, enriching
generators at the expense of Connecticut families. The realization of lower electric supply costs
for residents has clearly not materialized: the energy market structure in the state and New
England is irrevocably broken.

Reynolds is President and CEO of United Illuminating