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Connecticut News

Blumenthal joins Connecticut gas companies in asking feds to control home heating costs

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Courtesy of the Office of Senator Richard Blumenthal
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U.S. Senator Richard Blumental (D-CT) and United Illuminating CEO Frank Reynolds urged federal regulators to limit natural gas exports and look into their impact on home heating prices.

Natural gas prices and home heating costs are increasing at alarming rates. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said that’s despite the United States being the largest world exporter of natural gas.

Blumenthal and nine of his colleagues wrote to the Biden administration urging natural gas exports to stop until there’s a plan to lower the cost of natural gas to American families.

“600,000 Connecticut families and individuals depend on natural gas to heat their homes,” Blumenthal said. “The rise in prices by 100% affects their everyday budgets. The ability to pay their rent or buy food cannot be sacrificed because of these rising natural gas costs.”

Blumenthal said that the rise in prices is because of supply chain issues, and part of the problem is because of Connecticut’s geographic and pipeline location.

“We need to bring those prices down because it affects families in Connecticut, but also all around the country. So yes, our location is a contributing factor, but the step to be taken immediately is to cut the exports,” Blumenthal said.

He called for increased accountability from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which controls the pipelines and the cost of transporting natural gas.

Frank Reynolds, the president and CEO of United Illuminating, said it’s important that their customers have clean, reliable and affordable natural gas.

“Whether our customers are heating their homes with natural gas, whether they're cooking with natural gas or using natural gas for their warm showers, we want to make sure that natural gas remains affordable, reliable, clean burning, and it's safe,” Reynolds said. “Addressing the supply and demand issues that the senator just spoke of here will go a long way towards reducing the cost of natural gas to our customers.”

Reynolds joined Blumenthal on Monday to give some tips to make sure that customers are using their energy wisely, which can help keep their bills lower.

“We go out and do energy efficiency assessments at our customers' homes and businesses to make sure that they're using energy as wisely as possible,” Reynolds said. “That also helps to reduce the cost to our customers on a regular basis. If our customers are having trouble with their bills, we have a number of programs that help our customers with energy assistance programs.”

Some of those programs include the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, several COVID relief programs, and through the Connecticut Natural Gas company for more ways on how to use energy more efficiently.