NEWINGTON, CT (WFSB) - Lawmakers asked state regulators to suspend an electricity delivery charge increase until a hearing can be set.
The request was made in response to customer outrage over exponential increases in power bills.
Since the weekend, Eversource customers have been expressing their anger.
According to Rep. Liz Linehan, the chairs of the Energy and Technology Committee formally asked the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to suspend the delivery charge increase until a hearing can determine how to best protect ratepayers.
"At this hearing, Eversource will need to explain the misinformation campaign they have created to blame others for this increase," Linehan said. "I will continue to work with the House chairman of the committee, and let you all know if and when PURA agrees￼ to this very reasonable request."
Eversource said it is reviewing the request, saying in part "we understand and appreciate the efforts expressed by our legislators to address the high bill concerns of customers.
PURA said later in the day it has accepted the letter and is investigating.
It also said it can't comment on an open proceeding, but they said they had roughly 400 complaints as of Tuesday.
After getting 100 complaints, Attorney General William Tong said he is also looking at possibly getting involved, saying “Consumers have a right to be angry, we pay far too much for our energy as it is here in Connecticut.”
Monday, Eversource blamed a state-approved power deal with the Millstone Power Plant for the sharp rise in delivery costs, which appeared on customers' bills.
It said it passed along that increase on July 1 as part of state-mandated legislation.
However, Dominion Energy, which owns Millstone, said it has been selling power at a flat rate since Oct. 2019, nine months before any increase was reflected on Eversource customer bills. Dominion said that too was approved by state regulators.
The backlash from customers continued on Tuesday.
Eversource continued to defend the increase when Channel 3 pressed its vice president of energy supply, James Daly.
Daly said COVID-19 played a role. He said stay-at-home orders forced many businesses to close, which led to a drop in commercial electricity use.
Despite an increase in at-home use, Daly said it wasn't enough to offset the loss from businesses. He said the company was under collecting in subsidies and had to adjust its rate.
Still, Eversource maintained that Dominion Energy was responsible for 90 percent of the increase.
Dominion continued to say that Eversource was using its contract with Millstone as a scapegoat.
Meanwhile, United Illuminating, which also has a contract with Millstone, said its customers have not seen a huge increase on their bills.
In a statement on Wednesday, UI said "To the extent that customers are reporting higher-than-expected bills, these are largely the result of changes in usage driven by hot weather and new living and working arrangements in COVID era. UI made no adjustments to rates in June or July to reflect additional costs from the Millstone agreement, nor is there currently an approved plan or timeline to do so."
Stay with Channel 3 for continuing coverage of this story.