Energy and Technology Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

SB-573

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING VARIABLE ELECTRIC RATES.

Vote Date:

3/24/2015

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable Substitute

PH Date:

2/24/2015

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

SEN. MARTIN M. LOONEY, 11TH DIST.

SEN. DANTÉ BARTOLOMEO, 13TH DIST.

SEN. ERIC D. COLEMAN, 2ND DIST.

SEN. JOSEPH J. CRISCO, 17TH DIST.

SEN. MAE FLEXER, 29TH DIST.

SEN. TERRY B. GERRATANA, 6TH DIST.

SEN. TIMOTHY D. LARSON, 3RD DIST.

SEN. MARILYN MOORE, 22ND DIST.

SEN. CATHERINE A. OSTEN, 19TH DIST.

SEN. GARY A. WINFIELD, 10TH DIST.

SEN. GAYLE S. SLOSSBERG, 14TH DIST.

REP. JONATHAN STEINBERG, 136TH DIST.

REP. ROBERTA B. WILLIS, 64TH DIST.

REP. DAVID ZONI, 81ST DIST.

REP. THERESA W. CONROY, 105TH DIST.

REP. JAMES ALBIS, 99TH DIST.

REP. CHRISTINE ROSATI, 44TH DIST.

REP. EMIL ALTOBELLO, 82ND DIST.

REP. EDWIN VARGAS, 6TH DIST.

REASONS FOR BILL:

This legislation would prohibit third party suppliers from providing an option for variable rate contracts.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

Ms. Elin Katz

Office of Consumer Counsel

Consumer Counsel Katz testified in support this bill, citing costly third party suppliers and very brief fixed rate which is lower than the standard service offer of the service companies. This pushes upon a much higher variable rate than the standard service. It is the opinion of the OCC that mandating fix rate contracts will not hurt suppliers.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Testimony of Senator Martin M. Looney

On behalf of the Eleventh District

Senator Looney supports this legislation, citing variable rates are not offered by all electric suppliers. Furthermore, these suppliers have used deceptive tactics to put a higher burden on Connecticut ratepayers. These ratepayers are drawn in with “teaser rates” and clever marketing strategies. Over time, these rates can be tremendous on a bill cycle.

Testimony of Nita Acosta

Ms. Acosta supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly falls on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Edward Allen

Mr. Allen supports this bill, stating all the risk directly falls on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled. This predicament does not hold true for the vice-versa. In addition, Allen would prefer utilities be removed from private companies and put into state governments.

Testimony of David Bally

Mr. Bally supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Pam and George Bergen

The Bergen's supports this bill citing the charges are difficult while living on Social Security and pension, in addition to personal health concerns. A cap would reduce these burdens on the family.

Testimony of Jo Conaty

Ms. Conaty supports this legislation. She would like to see a cap fixed electric charges for residential and small business customers.

Testimony of Tony Criscuolo

Mr. Criscuolo supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled. Moreover, private companies like United illuminating should accept risks as well as profits instead of looking for more hikes.

Testimony of Sophie Crowe

Ms. Crowe supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of David D'Andrea

Mr. D'Andrea supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Jane DeGraff

Ms. DeGraff supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Joan DeGregorio

Ms. DeGregorio supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of John Devine

Mr. Devine support this legislation, stating all the risk directly falls on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of William E. Dorenbos

On behalf of Acadia Center

Mr. Dorenbos and his organization support this bill, stating high electric costs hurt customers and residents should have control over high rates Furthermore, high charges discourage parties to use clean power and less energy efficient.

Testimony of Beverly Dunn

On behalf of CCAG

Ms. Dunn supports this bill, citing CT residents already pay usages rates up or near the top of any other electric company in the region. These rates are unfair for ratepayers, as well as seniors and those on fixed incomes. In addition, it works against the process of energy efficient programs. In addition, stating all the risk directly falls on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of M. Elmaghrabi

Supports legislation of this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of John Erlingheuser

On behalf of AARP Connecticut

Mr. Erlinghesuer and his organization support this bill, stating the system is still broken. This bill allow buyers and sellers in this market to operate without an understanding of information as well as the risks and rewards associated with purchasing electricity generation supply under variable rate contracts. Moreover, the health and safety of ratepayers should take precedent over profit factors. Furthermore, all the risk falls directly on the costumer and not the third party suppliers. In addition, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Deborah Fedorich

Ms. Fedorich supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Bonnie Flanagan

Ms. Flanagan supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Russell Ford

Mr. Ford supports this legislation, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Charles Hanks

Mr. Hanks supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Mary Haynes

Ms. Haynes supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Sonja Holbrook

Ms. Holbrook supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Craig Holch

Mr. Holch supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Regina and Dominic Ippolito

Support legislation of this bill citing already high cost of electric rates.

Testimony of Cathy Itri

Ms. Itri supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Carol Kierstead

Ms. Kierstead supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Lori Waibel-Kierstead

Ms. Waibel-Koerstead supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Patricia Kiley

Ms. Kiley supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of George Lamb

Mr. Lamb supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of John Lambert

Mr. Lambert supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Raphael Podolsky

Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut

Mr. Podolsky and his organization support this bill. A passage is essential to ensure consumers are able to purchase generation at rates and costs they understand and for which they can budget.

Testimony of John Liebman

Mr. Liebman supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Margaret Loos

Ms. Loos supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Elizabeth Maciolek

Ms. Maciolek supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of R. Madych

R. Madych supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Carrie Makover

Ms. Makover supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Christopher Maloy

Mr. Maloy supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Dominic Marino

Mr. Marino supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Jennifer Millea

Ms. Millea supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Charlene Wood Noel

Ms. Noel supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the costumer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of P Noyes

Supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the costumer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Joseph Petronio

Mr. Petronio supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the costumer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Evan Preston

On behalf of ConnPIRG

Mr. Preston and his representation support this bill, citing suppliers use teaser rates at the forefront to lure customers who eventually pay higher rates later on. Furthermore, they roll fixed rate supply agreements over into variable rate agreements at the conclusion of a fixed rate term, and charge excessively high termination fees.

Testimony of Aprile Ricardi

Miss Ricardi supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Elizabeth Santoro

Miss Santoro supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Andy Schaff

Mr. Schaff supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and stamp a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Senator Gayle Slossberg

On behalf of Fourteenth District

Senator Slossberg supports this bill, citing seniors and working families will have additional protections against deceptive marketing practices and price inflation of rates. This includes examples such as cancellation fee charges.

Testimony of Gary Smith

Mr. Smith supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Robert Trotta

Mr. Trotta supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of John Vernotzy

Mr. Vernotsky supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Edward Wheeler

Mr. Wheeler supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Richard Wilcynski

Mr. Wilcyznski supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Richard Zagula

Mr. Zagula supports this bill, stating all the risk falls directly on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

Testimony of Anna Zujko

Ms. Zujko supports this bill, stating all the risk directly falls on the customer and not the third party suppliers. Furthermore, suppliers can increase rates without notice and place a penalty on the consumer if canceled.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

Testimony of Michael A. Coretto

On behalf of UIL Holdings

Mr. Coretto and his organization oppose this bill. UI believes that the current rate design process is fair, open, and transparent and takes into account the positions of all interested parties and usage rates. Legislatively establishing an arbitrary cap on the basic service charge bypasses the rigorous review and analysis that takes place during a distribution rate case.

Testimony of John Holtz

On behalf of NRG Energy Inc

Mr. Holtz and his organization respectfully recommends that the 2014 statute as well as PURA's recently adopted rules be provided ample time to prove effective before putting additional laws on the books that trim the electric service options available to customers. NRG believes CT residents have overwhelming choice and knowledge to choose electric suppliers and the ability to cancel if dissatisfied.

Testimony of Chris H. Kallaher

On behalf of Direct Energy Services

Mr. Kallaher and his organization oppose this bill, stating rather than banning variable price products to an entire class of customers, the General Assembly should allow the numerous consumer protections passed and structured during 2014 to do what they were implied to do; provide consumers, especially residential consumers, with sufficient and timely information to make informed decisions about their electric supply options and to take appropriate action in response to that information.

Testimony of Verde Energy USA

Oppose this bill, citing that the current legislation should be given sufficient time to take effect to protect customers, before further changes are made.

Reported by: Michael Costeines

Date: 4/6/15