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Connecticut is not the only New England state facing big electric rate increases

Power lines against a reddish sky on Long Island
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Eversource and United Illuminating will implement large rate increases that could cost residential customers an average of $70 to $80 more each month.

As of Jan. 1, Connecticut’s two biggest electric utilities will implement massive rate increases that could raise the average electric bill for residential customers of Eversource and United Illuminating by about $80 each month.

The utilities say the rate hikes are fueled by skyrocketing global energy costs due to the war in Ukraine. That conflict has driven up natural gas prices, which are a large part of New England's energy supply mix. As those energy supply prices go up, state law essentially allows utilities to pass those costs directly along to customers.

Connecticut Public spoke with reporter Mara Hoplamazian of New Hampshire Public Radio. They said Eversource's electric rates in New Hampshire are also going up.

“On Aug. 1, Eversource increased their electricity supply rate by more than doubling it. Ours went up to 22 cents per kilowatt hour,” Hoplamazian said. “People saw like a $70 or $80 increase on their electricity bills.”

Hoplamazian said heating prices have also “gone up significantly” but noted that Eversource will lower bills slightly for electric customers starting in February.

“Just a little bit, though — about 2 cents,” they said. “It’ll still be about double what it was last winter.”

Hoplamazian said that heating assistance applications are up but that it’s taking time for residents in New Hampshire to learn about, and apply for, assistance.

Both Eversource and UI encourage Connecticut customers to reach out about available financial assistance and payment plans. The utilities are also working with state officials to provide monthly bill credits aimed at mitigating a portion of the new price hike.

Connecticut Public Radio's Patrick Skahill contributed to this report.

Note: Gregory B. Butler, who is an executive with Eversource Energy, is a member of Connecticut Public's Board of Trustees.

John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. In his 20th year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.