Connecticut electric bills to get simpler and easier to read
The summer heat means high power bills, but do you even know what you're paying for? Soon, it'll be easier to find out. On Wednesday, state regulators ordered electric utilities to make their invoices simpler and easier to understand.
The average power bill has charges like “non-bypassable FMCC” and “de-coupling adjustment.” Pamela Young, of Norwalk said she doesn’t know what most of it means.
"I do not,” she said. “And I would love to not have to pay for that."
That’s why the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority ordered power companies to redesign customer invoices with new, standardized language that’s easier to understand.
"People are always coming to us asking, 'What is on that electric bill? What am I paying for?'" said PURA vice chair Jack Betkoski.
Bills will now be divided into four areas: supply, transmission, local delivery and public policy. Invoices will explain transmission charges in plain English: "Cost to maintain high voltage towers and lines." And delivery charges will include this explanation: "Cost to build, maintain, and repair the poles, lines, and meters."
“They can make it as clear as they want, but they're still going to charge you the same rate,” said Charlie Fischer, of Norwalk. "It's a good idea though. Make it a little bit more legible so people understand what they're paying for anyway."
PURA says it's a good first step.
"We do hope that the transparency that will be provided by these redesigned electric bills, particularly into the cost drivers, will help facilitate tough conversations with what should funded through your electric bill,” said PURA chair Marissa Gillett.
PURA says to expect the biggest change to United Illuminating bills, which haven’t changed in 20 years.
As for Eversource, spokesman Mitch Gross issued a statement saying: “We appreciate PURA’s thorough analysis of this matter and are reviewing their final decision. We look forward to continuing to work with our regulators to provide customers with a bill that is easier to read and understand.”
Don't expect to see these changes immediately. PURA says the power companies will need a few months to redesign your power bill.