PowerOptions

PowerOptions is a nonprofit, mission-driven energy buying consortium that is a trusted advisor and resource for nonprofits and public entities in New England. With nearly 500 members, our collective strength yields optimal pricing and stability for our entire membership of organizations both large and small. Experienced leadership, a proven supplier selection process and personalized customer service enable PowerOptions to manage the complexities of energy purchasing in New England, giving our members peace of mind.

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Settlement Proposed in Eversource Rate Case Customer Cost Increases Mitigated by Recent Changes to Federal Tax Law

Information provided by PowerOptions

On November 11, Eversource (Connecticut Light and Power) filed a rate case seeking a revenue increase of $255 million beginning on May 1 of this year. This would have raised the average bill for Connecticut electric customers by nearly 6.6%. On top of this, Eversource proposed to increase rates another 1.3% in 2019 and 1% in 2020. This would have amounted to a significant increase in the amount of money colleges and universities have to spend on energy.

On January 11, however, Eversource, the Office of Consumer Counsel, and the Prosecutorial Staff of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) reached a settlement in the case. The settlement greatly reduces the revenue increase proposed by Eversource and its impact on customers’ bills. According to the settlement, on May 1, revenues would increase $97 million. This corresponds to an average bill increase of 2.5% (rather than the proposed 6.6% increase). Rates will still increase in 2019 and 2020, but significantly less than originally proposed. Much of this decrease from the originally proposed rate increase is a result of the recent federal tax law change. Also of note, the settlement sets Eversource’s allowed return on equity (ROE) at 9.25%, which is lower than the ROE Eversource just received in its Massachusetts rate case. Overall, this settlement mitigates the impact of the rate case on nonprofits and their budgets.

The settlement has been presented to PURA, which has the ultimate authority to decide whether to approve or deny the settlement agreement. The proposed settlement notes that the Settlement Agreement does not represent the full impact of the recent tax law changes, and Eversource has committed to determine the full impact of the tax changes so that customers may benefit as soon as possible.

For an average CCIC member (consuming roughly 5.5 million KWh a year), the originally proposed rates over the three-year period would add approximately $50,000 a year to the electricity bill. The proposed settlement reduces that increase to $26,000 a year, roughly half. These figures are for an average size, hypothetical college, and actual impacts will vary by institution.

Established in 1998, PowerOptions is a nonprofit energy buying consortium that delivers cost savings and predictability to nonprofits and the public sector in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. With nearly 500 members, our collective strength yields optimal pricing and stability for our entire membership of organizations both large and small.

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