Conn. Legislature Passes Utility Reform Bill Including Payouts For Prolonged Outages

Oct 2, 2020

Connecticut’s electric utilities would soon be required by law to reimburse customers up to $250 for spoiled food and medicine caused by prolonged power outages. State lawmakers passed a bill to that effect in a special session this week.

The bill is in reaction to customer outcry over the slow response of the state’s largest utility Eversource, to widespread power outages following Tropical Storm Isaias. Senator Norm Needleman is co-chair of the Energy Committee. He says it also caps the amount of ratepayer funds that the utility can use for executive pay.

“If the shareholders believe the executive should be paid more, they can give them whatever additional compensation they wish. It must be paid out of company profit and not ratepayer money,” Needleman said.

Lawmakers were outraged that Eversource CEO Jim Judge was paid nearly $20 million last year, based on performance bonuses.

The bill passed the House on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday. Governor Ned Lamont is expected to soon sign it into law.