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.

Eversource: State-approved power deal with Millstone to blame for higher 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.

RELATED: Eversource says COVID-19 partly contributed to the recent increase

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.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(9) comments

Jake9630

I found a video on YouTube of PURA Vice Chairman Jack Betkoski getting in someones face and putting his hands on them when he was upset - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvKsIzDqo5Q I can't believe this guy is entrusted with protecting us!

NOTTHEONE-a

Keep Voting Democrat. you get what you voted for.. DEAL WITH IT

Well Educated Liberal

So, they're going to investigate themselves? Just like the pigs do. Gee, wonder what the outcome of this is going to be...?

#Biden/Obama2020 #HillaryIsMyPresident #ImStillWithHer #WearaMask #BlackLivesMatter #DumpDrumpf #NotMyPresident #VoteBlueNoMatterWho #BlueWave #FreedomFromReligion #SocialismNOW

JF71

PURA? The same people that have rubber stamped every increase requested in the last 5 years, even when resident after resident at their regional meetings has said no we cant afford more increases? That PURA? Don't hold your breath anyone.

Puppet79

And was this also the impetus behind Eversource's request to PURA that ALL hardship coded cases be required to use Eversource as their supplier, creating a class of customers known as "CAPTIVE CONSUMERS?" Yes, they colored it as a Big Brother, benevolence to help the financially disadvantaged, whom they said often pay higher supply rates, painting those listed as "hardship coded" as incompetent and outright stupid. "Hardship status" including those receiving any state assistance because the state sends out notice that they have WINTER PROTECTION from shut-off; the Disabled; anyone on a payment plan such as New Start (formerly NuStart), Matching Payment; Medical Protection; and now the BRAND NEW COVID-19 Payment Program, the flyer having just arrived in the mail with this months bill, affording Eversource an opportunity to create a brand new class of "CAPTIVE CONSUMERS." So, by removing choice from the poorest, most vulnerable members of society, PURA has collaborated with Eversource to help them with their budgetary shortfall. Isn't that the very thing that a PUBLIC REGULATORY AGENCY is NOT supposed to do? Isn't PURA set up to protect the public interests? Now, if you are poor, vulnerable, and "in need" you are not just NOT PROTECTED FROM, you are not just at the mercy of, no much more than that, YOUR STATE AGENCIES WILL FEED YOU TO THE WOLVES WHILE THEY HOLD YOU DOWN SCREAMING AND THERE'S NOT A THING YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT. Thank you PURA!!!

Seamist4myRV

I’m so sick of the high cost of energy. It’s so cheap in Las Vegas so is water. We have tons of water here why are we paying so much for everything. I’m sick of it. I’m surprised people aren’t breaking those things off and taking the power for free.

TaurenTom

Because you'd need a sufficient gage solid connector to close the contact point between the Y terminals that is thermally stable etc. I mean you can rig something up, but there's kinda some laws about meter tampering and there's a pretty good chance if you don't know what you're doing that you'll likely die by electrocution or possibly just boil alive inside.

Bristol62

Don’t give people ideas. Remember when Mr Trump said something about disinfect idiots tried injecting and swallowing.

CTYankee

Natural selection.

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