State utility regulators on Thursday followed the request of Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating and lowered their customers’ electric bills for 2012.
The largest savings will go to CL&P customers who still buy their power from the Berlin utility, with an average 8 percent drop in their monthly light bills next year.
CL&P says those customers haven’t seen lights bill that low since 2005.
For UI customers who buy power from the New Haven utility, their average bill will drop 5 percent.
Bills from the electric utilities are comprised of nine different rates, charging customers for the various efforts that must come together to power homes and businesses. The rates include the cost of generating power; delivering it from power plants to substations; delivering from substations to homes and businesses; funding renewable technology; and paying for delivery problems when the infrastructure can’t meet power demand.
The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority approved all of these 2012 rates on Thursday for UI and CL&P.
In Connecticut, business and residential customers can either buy their electric supply either from the utility or a competitive retail supplier. This impacts the generation rate on their bill. Generation is the largest single charge of the nine categories on an electric bill.
PURA approves the generation rate for the utility, but individual business and residential customers can choose to negotiate a lower rate through a retail supplier. Of the 1.5 million CL&P and UI customers, 42 percent use competitive retail suppliers for their generation rates.
From decreases approved by PURA Thursday, the largest portion of that decrease comes on the generation rate. Customers with a retail supplier will not see those same percentage reductions on their 2012 bills.
However, CL&P customers with a retail supplier will still see some decrease from the other eight portions of their bill. PURA lowered CL&P’s transmission rate by 1.4 percent. The agency also lowered the utilities’ competitive transition assessment rate by 1.2 percent. The competitive transition assessment, or CTA, reimburses the utility its costs from when the state created the competitive retail supply market in 1998.
UI customers with a retail supplier will see less of a favorable outcome on their bills. PURA increased UI’s transmission rate by 3.2 percent, although the agency did lower the utilities’ system benefits charge by 0.6 percent. The system benefits charge, or SBC, is used to fund public policy initiatives that couldn’t be funded once the competitive market was formed.