WASHINGTON —U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released a statement on Friday after the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) heeded his call to launch an investigation to examine why Eversource – New England’s largest energy provider – has nearly doubled the rate at which it disconnects customers from electricity for nonpayment over the last two years. In a letter to Murphy, Kate S. Dykes, Chair of PURA, announced an investigation to review Eversource’s uncollectible accounts, evaluate trends in program costs and participation, and strategies to best deliver those programs. As part of the investigation, PURA will accept input from electric and gas utilities, the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel, and other community organizations. Public comments can be submitted to PURA here.
“I’m glad that PURA is taking such swift action to figure out why Eversource disconnected so many customers,” said Murphy. “I’ll be in close contact with PURA to see this investigation through.”
“In your letter, you expressed concern that while wholesale electricity rates have remained comparatively low and Eversource offers many programs to assist limited income customers, the upturn in disconnections warrants review of the company's outreach efforts. My fellow commissioners and I share your concern,” wrote Katie S. Dykes in a letter to Murphy. “To that end, I am establishing a proceeding on the subject of uncollectible accounts to evaluate trends in program costs and participation, and strategies to best deliver these programs.”
According to PURA, Eversource made 28,851 disconnections in 2015, and 52,298 disconnections in 2017 – an almost 100 percent increase. WTNH News 8 investigators uncovered the increase in disconnections.