Why is Connecticut No. 1 in the cost of electricity among the 48 lower states?

Sullivan

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Nov 24, 2001
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Why is Connecticut No. 1 in the cost of electricity amount of 48 lower states?

Connecticut’s electricity prices are the highest among the lower 48 states, exasperating consumers and business owners and hampering economic development.

Jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, for example, cited lower electricity costs when the subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corp. announced last year it will build an energy-devouring manufacturing plant in North Carolina rather than in its home state of Connecticut.

In 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, electricity in Connecticut cost about 18.7 cents a kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s cheaper than what residents of Alaska and Hawaii paid, but is more than double the price in Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska and elsewhere.

Cold winters, end of the line and zero-carbon power​

Cold winters drive up demand — and the cost — of natural gas to fuel power plants; being at the end of natural gas pipelines adds to transit costs; and public policy is boosting costlier low- or zero-carbon power such as solar and nuclear. That’s only the start.

Ironically, electricity is increasingly expensive as wholesale prices fall due to lower demand, improved energy efficiency and rising use of renewable energy such as solar power. Transmission costs have soared more than six-fold between 2004 and 2019, according to the New England Power Generators Association.

Costs related to the electricity transmission and distribution systems that connect power plants with consumers are for construction, which is higher in the Northeast where land for generators is costlier and the price of labor is higher; operation and maintenance that includes repairing damage related to accidents or extreme storms; and improving cybersecurity, the power generators group said.

Simsbury High School started a new school year in 2017 with a new solar panel array on the roof of their gymnasium in Simsbury, Connecticut, MONICA JORGE | mjorge@courant.com (Monica Jorge / Hartford Courant)
Another cited by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is that federal energy regulators allow an “unreasonably high” return on equity -- a measure of the profitability of a corporation relative to stockholders’ equity -- for transmission costs, ranging from 10.5% to nearly 12%.

Transmission costs in New England have risen from $869 million in 2008 to $2.3 billion a decade later, DEEP said.

In addition, electricity customers pay for transmission congestion that cost $205 million from 2015 to 2019, said Amy McLean, Connecticut director and senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group.

Located between two much larger “load zones” -- Boston and New York -- Connecticut is subject to transmission constraints makes kilowatt hour more expensive, she said.

Natural gas and winter price spikes​

Natural gas accounted for nearly half of New England’s fuel mix in 2019, the largest component, according to ISO-New England, the region’s grid operator. Nuclear accounted for 31% and renewable energy such as wind power and solar panels were the source of 11% of the region’s energy produced by generators.

The sizable share of natural gas has helped reduce the region’s carbon footprint as generators shifted from oil. But it leaves New England vulnerable to price spikes during the winter, according to Eversource and UI, Connecticut’s dominant publicly traded utilities.

“New England has a gas supply problem,” said Jim Shuckerow, director of electric supply at Eversource Energy. “There’s a limited amount of natural gas pipelines.”

During winter cold spells, the first users are home heating and industrial customers and whatever remains is for natural gas generating plants, leading to rising prices, he said.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said it explains “why the supply charge on customers’ bills is always higher” from Jan. 1 to June 30 than during the second half of the year.

Pat McDonnell, vice president for regulatory affairs for Connecticut at UI, said “gas constraints,” or the lack of capacity on pipelines, drive costs higher in New England than in neighboring states. Customers in Danbury pay 6 cents a kilowatt hour more than electricity users across the state line in Brewster, New York, “just because you’re in the New England pool vs. the New York pool,” he said.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Policy said the region’s wholesale market’s “overreliance on natural gas generation” are partly to blame for putting Connecticut ratepayers at risk of “paying unreasonable and duplicative costs for energy supply.”

Connecticut vs. the regional grid​

DEEP says ratepayers pay twice to receive the same service: once for Connecticut’s share of the costs of markets within ISO and again through a component of United Illuminating and Eversource Energy distribution rates for clean energy that Connecticut contracts with to adhere to the state’s laws and requirements, DEEP says.

ISO said a concern about paying twice has been lessened partly because several hundred megawatts of renewable energy procured by the states — solar and wind power — have received credit through 2021. And it could grow when large-scale offshore wind power is bought. The projects have not yet been built and consumers are not paying twice, ISO said.

Environmental policies​

Environmental policies established by states also are responsible for higher costs.

“Where we are seeing a major shift is the drive for decarbonization,” said Dan Dolan president of the New England Power Generators Association. “It’s seen as appropriate public policy goals because we’re looking to decarbonize.”

Doug Horton, vice president of distribution rates and regulatory requirements at Eversource, said public policy in New England recognizes the “importance of those reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prioritizing that, acknowledging there’s a cost to do not doing anything.”

“It just may not be that same priority elsewhere in the country,” he said.

The Millstone power plant​

Another factor cited in higher electricity prices in Connecticut is a 10-year contract with the Millstone Power Station in Waterford required by state law.

The General Assembly and Gov. Ned Lamont approved the deal in 2019 after Millstone’s owner, Dominion Energy Inc., lobbied to compete with wind and solar energy for state power procurement. Nuclear plants also struggled to compete with natural gas.

Rep. David Arconti, House chairman of the legislature’s energy and technology committee, criticized the deal that leaves Connecticut to solely bear the cost of the deal.

“No one else in New England has to support that contract,” he said. “It should be a regional solution.”

Connecticut environmental officials said the state “reluctantly entered into a 10-year contract” backed by Connecticut ratepayers to prevent Millstone from shutting before the end of its operating licenses in 2035 and 2045. “No regional ISO-NE mechanism” was available to keep Millstone operating and it “was imminently at-risk of retirement,” the state said.

ISO said Dominion did not submit an application to retire the plant and the ISO was not directly involved in negotiations between Dominion and the state.
Advertisement

What’s next?​

Arconti, a Danbury Democrat, said new policies by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will lead to rate approvals based on performance rather than the utilities’ cost to provide service, he said.

Customers’ bills are separated into two components, supply and delivery, but over time electric bills have expanded to reflect other cost drivers that leave customers confused. The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has directed its staff to submit a redesigned electric bill by September 30th.

If there is a consolation, the other New England states aren't far behind CT in electricity prices. It's a very close race. Still Connecticut's rank is No. 1 is a dubious honor, she said.

 
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The Spin Meister

Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2012
24,299
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1
An altered state
Interesting read. Seems like government interference has screwed them over about five ways.

A huge issue is the objection to build any new gas pipelines. Many have been proposed and none I know off being approved. Things are so bad that a year ago New England imported a load of liquid natural gas from Russia. LNG that came from a new nat gas filed in the Artic that is known for one of the worst environmental record on the globe.

Seems about right for crazy progs.
 

Vic Vaselino

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2009
2,878
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Why is Connecticut No. 1 in the cost of electricity amount of 48 lower states?

Connecticut’s electricity prices are the highest among the lower 48 states, exasperating consumers and business owners and hampering economic development.

Jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, for example, cited lower electricity costs when the subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corp. announced last year it will build an energy-devouring manufacturing plant in North Carolina rather than in its home state of Connecticut.

In 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, electricity in Connecticut cost about 18.7 cents a kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s cheaper than what residents of Alaska and Hawaii paid, but is more than double the price in Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska and elsewhere.

Cold winters, end of the line and zero-carbon power​

Cold winters drive up demand — and the cost — of natural gas to fuel power plants; being at the end of natural gas pipelines adds to transit costs; and public policy is boosting costlier low- or zero-carbon power such as solar and nuclear. That’s only the start.

Ironically, electricity is increasingly expensive as wholesale prices fall due to lower demand, improved energy efficiency and rising use of renewable energy such as solar power. Transmission costs have soared more than six-fold between 2004 and 2019, according to the New England Power Generators Association.

Costs related to the electricity transmission and distribution systems that connect power plants with consumers are for construction, which is higher in the Northeast where land for generators is costlier and the price of labor is higher; operation and maintenance that includes repairing damage related to accidents or extreme storms; and improving cybersecurity, the power generators group said.

Simsbury High School started a new school year in 2017 with a new solar panel array on the roof of their gymnasium in Simsbury, Connecticut, MONICA JORGE | mjorge@courant.com (Monica Jorge / Hartford Courant)
Another cited by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is that federal energy regulators allow an “unreasonably high” return on equity -- a measure of the profitability of a corporation relative to stockholders’ equity -- for transmission costs, ranging from 10.5% to nearly 12%.

Transmission costs in New England have risen from $869 million in 2008 to $2.3 billion a decade later, DEEP said.

In addition, electricity customers pay for transmission congestion that cost $205 million from 2015 to 2019, said Amy McLean, Connecticut director and senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group.

Located between two much larger “load zones” -- Boston and New York -- Connecticut is subject to transmission constraints makes kilowatt hour more expensive, she said.

Natural gas and winter price spikes​

Natural gas accounted for nearly half of New England’s fuel mix in 2019, the largest component, according to ISO-New England, the region’s grid operator. Nuclear accounted for 31% and renewable energy such as wind power and solar panels were the source of 11% of the region’s energy produced by generators.

The sizable share of natural gas has helped reduce the region’s carbon footprint as generators shifted from oil. But it leaves New England vulnerable to price spikes during the winter, according to Eversource and UI, Connecticut’s dominant publicly traded utilities.

“New England has a gas supply problem,” said Jim Shuckerow, director of electric supply at Eversource Energy. “There’s a limited amount of natural gas pipelines.”

During winter cold spells, the first users are home heating and industrial customers and whatever remains is for natural gas generating plants, leading to rising prices, he said.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said it explains “why the supply charge on customers’ bills is always higher” from Jan. 1 to June 30 than during the second half of the year.

Pat McDonnell, vice president for regulatory affairs for Connecticut at UI, said “gas constraints,” or the lack of capacity on pipelines, drive costs higher in New England than in neighboring states. Customers in Danbury pay 6 cents a kilowatt hour more than electricity users across the state line in Brewster, New York, “just because you’re in the New England pool vs. the New York pool,” he said.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Policy said the region’s wholesale market’s “overreliance on natural gas generation” are partly to blame for putting Connecticut ratepayers at risk of “paying unreasonable and duplicative costs for energy supply.”

Connecticut vs. the regional grid​

DEEP says ratepayers pay twice to receive the same service: once for Connecticut’s share of the costs of markets within ISO and again through a component of United Illuminating and Eversource Energy distribution rates for clean energy that Connecticut contracts with to adhere to the state’s laws and requirements, DEEP says.

ISO said a concern about paying twice has been lessened partly because several hundred megawatts of renewable energy procured by the states — solar and wind power — have received credit through 2021. And it could grow when large-scale offshore wind power is bought. The projects have not yet been built and consumers are not paying twice, ISO said.

Environmental policies​

Environmental policies established by states also are responsible for higher costs.

“Where we are seeing a major shift is the drive for decarbonization,” said Dan Dolan president of the New England Power Generators Association. “It’s seen as appropriate public policy goals because we’re looking to decarbonize.”

Doug Horton, vice president of distribution rates and regulatory requirements at Eversource, said public policy in New England recognizes the “importance of those reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prioritizing that, acknowledging there’s a cost to do not doing anything.”

“It just may not be that same priority elsewhere in the country,” he said.

The Millstone power plant​

Another factor cited in higher electricity prices in Connecticut is a 10-year contract with the Millstone Power Station in Waterford required by state law.

The General Assembly and Gov. Ned Lamont approved the deal in 2019 after Millstone’s owner, Dominion Energy Inc., lobbied to compete with wind and solar energy for state power procurement. Nuclear plants also struggled to compete with natural gas.

Rep. David Arconti, House chairman of the legislature’s energy and technology committee, criticized the deal that leaves Connecticut to solely bear the cost of the deal.

“No one else in New England has to support that contract,” he said. “It should be a regional solution.”

Connecticut environmental officials said the state “reluctantly entered into a 10-year contract” backed by Connecticut ratepayers to prevent Millstone from shutting before the end of its operating licenses in 2035 and 2045. “No regional ISO-NE mechanism” was available to keep Millstone operating and it “was imminently at-risk of retirement,” the state said.

ISO said Dominion did not submit an application to retire the plant and the ISO was not directly involved in negotiations between Dominion and the state.
Advertisement

What’s next?​

Arconti, a Danbury Democrat, said new policies by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will lead to rate approvals based on performance rather than the utilities’ cost to provide service, he said.

Customers’ bills are separated into two components, supply and delivery, but over time electric bills have expanded to reflect other cost drivers that leave customers confused. The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has directed its staff to submit a redesigned electric bill by September 30th.

If there is a consolation, the other New England states aren't far behind CT in electricity prices. It's a very close race. Still Connecticut's rank is No. 1 is a dubious honor, she said.

Simple solution, burn more coal.
 

PaoliLion

Well-Known Member
Nov 2, 2003
12,242
6,121
1
Why is Connecticut No. 1 in the cost of electricity amount of 48 lower states?

Connecticut’s electricity prices are the highest among the lower 48 states, exasperating consumers and business owners and hampering economic development.

Jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, for example, cited lower electricity costs when the subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corp. announced last year it will build an energy-devouring manufacturing plant in North Carolina rather than in its home state of Connecticut.

In 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, electricity in Connecticut cost about 18.7 cents a kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s cheaper than what residents of Alaska and Hawaii paid, but is more than double the price in Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska and elsewhere.

Cold winters, end of the line and zero-carbon power​

Cold winters drive up demand — and the cost — of natural gas to fuel power plants; being at the end of natural gas pipelines adds to transit costs; and public policy is boosting costlier low- or zero-carbon power such as solar and nuclear. That’s only the start.

Ironically, electricity is increasingly expensive as wholesale prices fall due to lower demand, improved energy efficiency and rising use of renewable energy such as solar power. Transmission costs have soared more than six-fold between 2004 and 2019, according to the New England Power Generators Association.

Costs related to the electricity transmission and distribution systems that connect power plants with consumers are for construction, which is higher in the Northeast where land for generators is costlier and the price of labor is higher; operation and maintenance that includes repairing damage related to accidents or extreme storms; and improving cybersecurity, the power generators group said.

Simsbury High School started a new school year in 2017 with a new solar panel array on the roof of their gymnasium in Simsbury, Connecticut, MONICA JORGE | mjorge@courant.com (Monica Jorge / Hartford Courant)
Another cited by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is that federal energy regulators allow an “unreasonably high” return on equity -- a measure of the profitability of a corporation relative to stockholders’ equity -- for transmission costs, ranging from 10.5% to nearly 12%.

Transmission costs in New England have risen from $869 million in 2008 to $2.3 billion a decade later, DEEP said.

In addition, electricity customers pay for transmission congestion that cost $205 million from 2015 to 2019, said Amy McLean, Connecticut director and senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group.

Located between two much larger “load zones” -- Boston and New York -- Connecticut is subject to transmission constraints makes kilowatt hour more expensive, she said.

Natural gas and winter price spikes​

Natural gas accounted for nearly half of New England’s fuel mix in 2019, the largest component, according to ISO-New England, the region’s grid operator. Nuclear accounted for 31% and renewable energy such as wind power and solar panels were the source of 11% of the region’s energy produced by generators.

The sizable share of natural gas has helped reduce the region’s carbon footprint as generators shifted from oil. But it leaves New England vulnerable to price spikes during the winter, according to Eversource and UI, Connecticut’s dominant publicly traded utilities.

“New England has a gas supply problem,” said Jim Shuckerow, director of electric supply at Eversource Energy. “There’s a limited amount of natural gas pipelines.”

During winter cold spells, the first users are home heating and industrial customers and whatever remains is for natural gas generating plants, leading to rising prices, he said.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said it explains “why the supply charge on customers’ bills is always higher” from Jan. 1 to June 30 than during the second half of the year.

Pat McDonnell, vice president for regulatory affairs for Connecticut at UI, said “gas constraints,” or the lack of capacity on pipelines, drive costs higher in New England than in neighboring states. Customers in Danbury pay 6 cents a kilowatt hour more than electricity users across the state line in Brewster, New York, “just because you’re in the New England pool vs. the New York pool,” he said.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Policy said the region’s wholesale market’s “overreliance on natural gas generation” are partly to blame for putting Connecticut ratepayers at risk of “paying unreasonable and duplicative costs for energy supply.”

Connecticut vs. the regional grid​

DEEP says ratepayers pay twice to receive the same service: once for Connecticut’s share of the costs of markets within ISO and again through a component of United Illuminating and Eversource Energy distribution rates for clean energy that Connecticut contracts with to adhere to the state’s laws and requirements, DEEP says.

ISO said a concern about paying twice has been lessened partly because several hundred megawatts of renewable energy procured by the states — solar and wind power — have received credit through 2021. And it could grow when large-scale offshore wind power is bought. The projects have not yet been built and consumers are not paying twice, ISO said.

Environmental policies​

Environmental policies established by states also are responsible for higher costs.

“Where we are seeing a major shift is the drive for decarbonization,” said Dan Dolan president of the New England Power Generators Association. “It’s seen as appropriate public policy goals because we’re looking to decarbonize.”

Doug Horton, vice president of distribution rates and regulatory requirements at Eversource, said public policy in New England recognizes the “importance of those reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prioritizing that, acknowledging there’s a cost to do not doing anything.”

“It just may not be that same priority elsewhere in the country,” he said.

The Millstone power plant​

Another factor cited in higher electricity prices in Connecticut is a 10-year contract with the Millstone Power Station in Waterford required by state law.

The General Assembly and Gov. Ned Lamont approved the deal in 2019 after Millstone’s owner, Dominion Energy Inc., lobbied to compete with wind and solar energy for state power procurement. Nuclear plants also struggled to compete with natural gas.

Rep. David Arconti, House chairman of the legislature’s energy and technology committee, criticized the deal that leaves Connecticut to solely bear the cost of the deal.

“No one else in New England has to support that contract,” he said. “It should be a regional solution.”

Connecticut environmental officials said the state “reluctantly entered into a 10-year contract” backed by Connecticut ratepayers to prevent Millstone from shutting before the end of its operating licenses in 2035 and 2045. “No regional ISO-NE mechanism” was available to keep Millstone operating and it “was imminently at-risk of retirement,” the state said.

ISO said Dominion did not submit an application to retire the plant and the ISO was not directly involved in negotiations between Dominion and the state.
Advertisement

What’s next?​

Arconti, a Danbury Democrat, said new policies by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will lead to rate approvals based on performance rather than the utilities’ cost to provide service, he said.

Customers’ bills are separated into two components, supply and delivery, but over time electric bills have expanded to reflect other cost drivers that leave customers confused. The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has directed its staff to submit a redesigned electric bill by September 30th.

If there is a consolation, the other New England states aren't far behind CT in electricity prices. It's a very close race. Still Connecticut's rank is No. 1 is a dubious honor, she said.


The author gets light on data pretty quickly for some of the issues mentioned near the bottom, but it sounds like the primary culprit Is transmission costs due to deregulation and the cost of natural gas.
 

HartfordLlion

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2001
21,858
14,751
1
Why is Connecticut No. 1 in the cost of electricity amount of 48 lower states?

Connecticut’s electricity prices are the highest among the lower 48 states, exasperating consumers and business owners and hampering economic development.

Jet engine manufacturer Pratt & Whitney, for example, cited lower electricity costs when the subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies Corp. announced last year it will build an energy-devouring manufacturing plant in North Carolina rather than in its home state of Connecticut.

In 2019, the most recent year for which data are available, electricity in Connecticut cost about 18.7 cents a kilowatt hour, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. It’s cheaper than what residents of Alaska and Hawaii paid, but is more than double the price in Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska and elsewhere.

Cold winters, end of the line and zero-carbon power​

Cold winters drive up demand — and the cost — of natural gas to fuel power plants; being at the end of natural gas pipelines adds to transit costs; and public policy is boosting costlier low- or zero-carbon power such as solar and nuclear. That’s only the start.

Ironically, electricity is increasingly expensive as wholesale prices fall due to lower demand, improved energy efficiency and rising use of renewable energy such as solar power. Transmission costs have soared more than six-fold between 2004 and 2019, according to the New England Power Generators Association.

Costs related to the electricity transmission and distribution systems that connect power plants with consumers are for construction, which is higher in the Northeast where land for generators is costlier and the price of labor is higher; operation and maintenance that includes repairing damage related to accidents or extreme storms; and improving cybersecurity, the power generators group said.

Simsbury High School started a new school year in 2017 with a new solar panel array on the roof of their gymnasium in Simsbury, Connecticut, MONICA JORGE | mjorge@courant.com (Monica Jorge / Hartford Courant)
Another cited by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is that federal energy regulators allow an “unreasonably high” return on equity -- a measure of the profitability of a corporation relative to stockholders’ equity -- for transmission costs, ranging from 10.5% to nearly 12%.

Transmission costs in New England have risen from $869 million in 2008 to $2.3 billion a decade later, DEEP said.

In addition, electricity customers pay for transmission congestion that cost $205 million from 2015 to 2019, said Amy McLean, Connecticut director and senior policy advocate at the Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group.

Located between two much larger “load zones” -- Boston and New York -- Connecticut is subject to transmission constraints makes kilowatt hour more expensive, she said.

Natural gas and winter price spikes​

Natural gas accounted for nearly half of New England’s fuel mix in 2019, the largest component, according to ISO-New England, the region’s grid operator. Nuclear accounted for 31% and renewable energy such as wind power and solar panels were the source of 11% of the region’s energy produced by generators.

The sizable share of natural gas has helped reduce the region’s carbon footprint as generators shifted from oil. But it leaves New England vulnerable to price spikes during the winter, according to Eversource and UI, Connecticut’s dominant publicly traded utilities.

“New England has a gas supply problem,” said Jim Shuckerow, director of electric supply at Eversource Energy. “There’s a limited amount of natural gas pipelines.”

During winter cold spells, the first users are home heating and industrial customers and whatever remains is for natural gas generating plants, leading to rising prices, he said.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said it explains “why the supply charge on customers’ bills is always higher” from Jan. 1 to June 30 than during the second half of the year.

Pat McDonnell, vice president for regulatory affairs for Connecticut at UI, said “gas constraints,” or the lack of capacity on pipelines, drive costs higher in New England than in neighboring states. Customers in Danbury pay 6 cents a kilowatt hour more than electricity users across the state line in Brewster, New York, “just because you’re in the New England pool vs. the New York pool,” he said.

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Policy said the region’s wholesale market’s “overreliance on natural gas generation” are partly to blame for putting Connecticut ratepayers at risk of “paying unreasonable and duplicative costs for energy supply.”

Connecticut vs. the regional grid​

DEEP says ratepayers pay twice to receive the same service: once for Connecticut’s share of the costs of markets within ISO and again through a component of United Illuminating and Eversource Energy distribution rates for clean energy that Connecticut contracts with to adhere to the state’s laws and requirements, DEEP says.

ISO said a concern about paying twice has been lessened partly because several hundred megawatts of renewable energy procured by the states — solar and wind power — have received credit through 2021. And it could grow when large-scale offshore wind power is bought. The projects have not yet been built and consumers are not paying twice, ISO said.

Environmental policies​

Environmental policies established by states also are responsible for higher costs.

“Where we are seeing a major shift is the drive for decarbonization,” said Dan Dolan president of the New England Power Generators Association. “It’s seen as appropriate public policy goals because we’re looking to decarbonize.”

Doug Horton, vice president of distribution rates and regulatory requirements at Eversource, said public policy in New England recognizes the “importance of those reducing greenhouse gas emissions and prioritizing that, acknowledging there’s a cost to do not doing anything.”

“It just may not be that same priority elsewhere in the country,” he said.

The Millstone power plant​

Another factor cited in higher electricity prices in Connecticut is a 10-year contract with the Millstone Power Station in Waterford required by state law.

The General Assembly and Gov. Ned Lamont approved the deal in 2019 after Millstone’s owner, Dominion Energy Inc., lobbied to compete with wind and solar energy for state power procurement. Nuclear plants also struggled to compete with natural gas.

Rep. David Arconti, House chairman of the legislature’s energy and technology committee, criticized the deal that leaves Connecticut to solely bear the cost of the deal.

“No one else in New England has to support that contract,” he said. “It should be a regional solution.”

Connecticut environmental officials said the state “reluctantly entered into a 10-year contract” backed by Connecticut ratepayers to prevent Millstone from shutting before the end of its operating licenses in 2035 and 2045. “No regional ISO-NE mechanism” was available to keep Millstone operating and it “was imminently at-risk of retirement,” the state said.

ISO said Dominion did not submit an application to retire the plant and the ISO was not directly involved in negotiations between Dominion and the state.
Advertisement

What’s next?​

Arconti, a Danbury Democrat, said new policies by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority will lead to rate approvals based on performance rather than the utilities’ cost to provide service, he said.

Customers’ bills are separated into two components, supply and delivery, but over time electric bills have expanded to reflect other cost drivers that leave customers confused. The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has directed its staff to submit a redesigned electric bill by September 30th.

If there is a consolation, the other New England states aren't far behind CT in electricity prices. It's a very close race. Still Connecticut's rank is No. 1 is a dubious honor, she said.


Millstone is a big hitter, lack of nat gas pipelines prevents more cheaper NG power generation, renewable push is also costly us. Luckily for my household we have natural gas. When I move in over 2 decades ago, I immediatly switched the clothes dryer to NG, followed by the hot water heater when I needed a new one. Electic bill averages around $70 to 80 per month. I'm surprised CT is the highest, I know Long Island pay even higher rates than we do. Maybe when averaged across the state it's lower.
 
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HartfordLlion

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Sep 28, 2001
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The author gets light on data pretty quickly for some of the issues mentioned near the bottom, but it sounds like the primary culprit Is transmission costs due to deregulation and the cost of natural gas.
NG cost is not the issue, getting it here via pipeline is. I'm sure it is higher than in other states so our generatiion cost are higher relative to other states but it is still the cheapest option when it comes to electricity generation, we just do not have enough of it.

People who live along the shore are getting raped by the Millstone nuke plant rates. Luckily it is a different provider than who I have. It's literately a millstone wrapped around their necks.
 

HartfordLlion

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Sep 28, 2001
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Simple solution, burn more coal.

We shut down most of our "dirty" dozed coal/oil fired power plants and yes that has contributed to to rate increases. A couple of the oil fired ones are still used as standby power for expected high demand periods. When you have an existing plant that has long been paid for it's a hell of a lot cheaper paying for the operation plus maintenance as opposed to paying for a plant construction and operation rolling into your rates.
 

HartfordLlion

Well-Known Member
Sep 28, 2001
21,858
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Interesting read. Seems like government interference has screwed them over about five ways.

A huge issue is the objection to build any new gas pipelines. Many have been proposed and none I know off being approved. Things are so bad that a year ago New England imported a load of liquid natural gas from Russia. LNG that came from a new nat gas filed in the Artic that is known for one of the worst environmental record on the globe.

Seems about right for crazy progs.

Yes Boston was importing LNG not sure if they still are. Lots of concerns if one of those LNG tanker lit off in Boston Harbor. Some really bad causality numbers. It pretty much impossible to get hooked up to NG in CT. Lots of people burn propane which ain't cheap, but it cheaper than heating by electricity.
 
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The Spin Meister

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Nov 27, 2012
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An altered state
The author gets light on data pretty quickly for some of the issues mentioned near the bottom, but it sounds like the primary culprit Is transmission costs due to deregulation and the cost of natural gas.
It’s not transmission costs. The problem is a lack of transmission capacity leads to shortages. Then the power companies bid for short term delivery on the spot market. That often leads to exorbitant prices. Go to the EIA nat gas weekly reports and go back to extreme cold weather periods and you will see nat gas going for over a $100 on the spot markets. With proper supply lines that would rarely happen, if ever.

 

pawrestlersintn

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Jan 26, 2013
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The author gets light on data pretty quickly for some of the issues mentioned near the bottom, but it sounds like the primary culprit Is transmission costs due to deregulation and the cost of natural gas.
Light on data like you were with your 1.5 acre number, Doom Goblin?
 
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