OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 573 (File 549, as amended by Senate "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIABLE ELECTRIC RATES.

SUMMARY:

Starting October 1, 2015, this bill prohibits retail electric suppliers from (1) entering into variable rate contracts for residential electric generation services or (2) automatically renewing such contracts or causing them to be renewed.

The law, unchanged by the bill, allows suppliers to charge residential customers a month-to-month variable rate after their contract expires if they meet certain notice requirements and other conditions. The bill requires the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), by October 1, 2015, to begin a proceeding to develop recommendations and guidance on what (1) type of rate structure is best suited for residential customers who allow a fixed contract with a supplier to expire and begin paying a month-to-month rate and (2) rate increase is just and reasonable when it is needed under these circumstances. PURA must report its findings to the Energy and Technology Committee by January 1, 2016.

The bill specifies that a “residential customer” for these purposes is one who contracts with a supplier for generation services at residential premises for domestic purposes only. The definition also applies to provisions under existing law that, among other things, (1) require suppliers serving such customers to meet certain notice requirements, and (2) limit the early cancellation fees that suppliers can charge to such customers.

*Senate Amendment “A” (1) requires PURA to conduct a proceeding on month-to-month variable rates, (2) defines residential customers, and (3) makes the bill effective upon passage instead of October 1, 2015.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

COMMITTEE ACTION

Energy and Technology Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

21

Nay

2

(03/24/2015)