Connecticut’s energy market restructuring has yielded significant benefits. Its competitive markets have driven investment in the state’s energy production, resulting in a 50% increase in generation capacity. Furthermore, the new investment in lower emissions and carbon-free generation has led to cleaner air, with enormous economic benefits in the form of improved public health. Finally, restructuring has led to increased choice and expansion of the free market, and consumer-funded efficiency programs have resulted in 400 kWh of electricity conservation.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) regulates the energy industry in Connecticut, which operates within the New England regional energy market managed by ISO New England. ISO New England oversees the wholesale electricity market and operates a capacity market. Eversource Energy and United Illuminating manage energy distribution and transmission, while the private retail energy industry offers alternative energy supply options.
The state of Connecticut has a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) policy, which requires electric providers to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from renewable sources to offset a specified percentage or amount of the energy they generate or sell. This policy creates a financial incentive for the development of renewable energy projects by ensuring a market and steady revenue stream for renewable generators.
The RPS is divided into three tiers:
Electricity suppliers are required to report their compliance with the RPS annually to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The report must include the amount of renewable energy credits (RECs) purchased or produced by the supplier, the percentage of the supplier’s electricity that came from renewable sources, and any other relevant information.
Connecticut customers can compare offers from different retailers for their electric supply on Energize CT. Retail energy customers saved a total of $23,706,010 from January to December 2022. As of Dec. 6, 2022, customers could lock in a rate up to 30% off their standard service supply rate this winter. Reasons to shop include cost savings, price predictability, renewable energy choices, and special products. Despite the opportunity for savings, 90% of Eversource and 83% of United Illuminating customers have not shopped for a competitive supplier. Customers who do shop can select a retailer based on their energy usage, preferences, and needs, with guidance from resources such as the Retail Energy Advancement League’s shopping guide.
Connecticut offers various consumer protections for energy shoppers to ensure they have a fair and transparent experience. Firstly, suppliers must disclose all terms and conditions of their offers, including prices, contract length, and any fees or penalties for early termination, as well as information about the ability to switch to a new supplier within three business days without penalty. Secondly, suppliers must adhere to state and federal laws and regulations governing the sale and marketing of energy, and must be licensed by the Connecticut PURA. Additionally, suppliers are not allowed to charge early termination fees if a customer cancels their contract due to a price increase or other material change to the terms and conditions of their agreement. Finally, if a consumer has a complaint or issue with their energy supplier, they can file a complaint with PURA. This can be done through the PURA website, by phone, or by mail. PURA will investigate the complaint and work with the supplier to resolve the issue.