MURPHY CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION INTO WHY EVERSOURCE SHUTOFFS DOUBLED IN JUST TWO YEARS

Request comes after local media investigation revealed Eversource made 28,851 disconnections in 2015, and 52,298 disconnections in 2017 – an almost 100% increase

WASHINGTON – After an investigation by WTNH News 8 revealed that the rate at which Eversource – New England’s largest energy provider – has disconnected customers from electricity for nonpayment has nearly doubled in the last two years, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called on the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to examine Eversource’s actions. In a letter addressed to Kate S. Dykes, Chair of PURA, Murphy expressed concern that Eversource may not being doing enough outreach to their low-income customers. Last year, Eversource filed documents with PURA to request a rate increase starting in May 2018.

“It has come to my attention that since 2015, the rate at which Eversource has disconnected customers has dramatically increased. These increases are alarming,” wrote Murphy. “By most measures, Connecticut’s economy has improved from 2015 to 2017, and over that same period, wholesale energy prices have remained at their lowest levels since the beginning of the century. I respectfully request that PURA scrutinize Eversource’s disconnections and engagement in outreach programs for low-income customers.”

According to PURA, Eversource made 28,851 disconnections in 2015, and 52,298 disconnections in 2017 – an almost 100 percent increase. 

The full text of the letter is available online and below:

Ms. Katie S. Dykes
Chair
Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
10 Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051

Re: Docket No. 17-10-46 – Application of the Connecticut Light and Power Company d/b/a Eversource Energy to Amend its Rate Schedules

Dear Ms. Dykes:

It has come to my attention that since 2015, the rate at which Eversource has disconnected customers has dramatically increased. Specifically, according to data provided by your agency, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), in 2015, there were 28,851 disconnections; in 2016, there were 41,235 disconnections; and in 2017, there were 52,298 disconnections.

These increases are alarming, especially when viewed in the context in which they arose. By most measures, Connecticut’s economy has improved from 2015 to 2017, and over that same period, wholesale energy prices have remained at their lowest levels since the beginning of the century. While Eversource offers various repayment programs for delinquent customers, I am concerned that the extent of the company’s outreach may be insufficient, contributing to an upward trend in disconnections. Therefore, I respectfully request that PURA scrutinize Eversource’s disconnections and the company’s engagement in outreach programs for low-income customers while considering Docket No. 17-10-46, which is scheduled to be finalized on April 18, 2018.


Sincerely,

Christopher S. Murphy
United States Senator