New Year won’t be happy for some Connecticut utility customers

Choose EnergyEnergy NewsNew Year won’t be happy for some Connecticut utility customers

Happy New Year? Some Connecticut residents would beg to differ – because they will face higher electricity supply rates from utilities United Illuminating and Eversource starting Jan. 1. What are the increases?

Utility Current rate cents/kWh Rate as of Jan. 1 % increase Avg. monthly increase *
United Illuminating 7.66 9.66 26.1 $17.94
Eversource 8.01 9.08 13.4 $9.61

* Average monthly electricity use for a U.S. residential utility customer, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, is 897 kWh per month.

Electricity supply rate hikes are common in the Northeast during winter, when demand for power is greater. Already, utilities serving Maine and Massachusetts have announced hikes.

What do the increases mean for bills?

Customers of United Illuminating, who currently pay 7.66 cents/kilowatt hour (kWh), will pay 9.66  cents/kWh after the first of the year. Annualized, that hike would mean they would pay nearly $216 more for electricity in 2018 than this year.

People in Eversource service areas, who pay 8.01 cents/kWh now, will pay 9.08 cents/kWh starting Jan. 1. Over 12 months, consumers would pay $115 more.

What can Connecticut consumers do?

The news isn’t all bad. Because Connecticut is one of 14 states with energy deregulation, customers don’t have to purchase their electricity supply from the utilities, though their utility company will continue to deliver power to their homes.

Retail providers in those service areas offer some electricity supply plans with lower rates. Here are two examples from the Choose Energy marketplace:

  • Bridgeport (United Illuminating service area): North American Power, as of Dec. 20, offered a 12-month fixed-rate plan for 9.09 cents/kWh – nearly 6 percent lower than the new United rate.
  • Stamford (Eversource service area): North American Power, again as of Dec. 20, offered a 12-month fixed-rate plan for 8.79 cents/kWh – nearly 3.2 percent lower than the new Eversource rate.

Rates can be volatile, even among retail providers. Check out more rates at Choose Energy to avoid the Jan. 1 hikes.