Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

October 30, 2019

New PURA leader Gillett reckons with CT’s energy prices

Photo | Twitter via @CT_Power_Energy PURA chair Marissa Gillett delivering a keynote address at the Connecticut Power and Energy Society's annual conference.

As the state embarks on an in-depth review of Connecticut’s high electricity prices, the official leading the effort readily admits it will be a challenge to reduce them anytime soon.

Marissa P. Gillett, chair of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), said Wednesday that affordability across all customer classes will be a focus during her five-year term, but warned that it will likely take a few years to draft and enact policies that have meaningful impacts on Connecticut’s ranking as one of the most expensive for energy costs in the lower 48 states.  

”I’m going to be clear, I don’t know that is going to change during my tenure at PURA,” Gillett said during a keynote address kicking off a Southington event hosted by the Connecticut Power & Energy Society. “Five years seems like a lot of time, but it’s probably not enough to get us from 48 to 40.”

If prices are to remain relatively high for years to come, Gillett said she wants to at least work to ensure that ratepayers, whether residential or industrial, are getting good value for their money.

”I'm really focused on providing realistic expectations,” Gillett said after her speech Wednesday. "We're playing the long game here.”

Gov. Ned Lamont appointed Gillett to her role about six months ago. She worked for Maryland’s version of PURA from 2011 to 2018, and had more recently taken a job at the Energy Storage Association.

Maryland had the 12th highest overall energy prices in 2018, while Connecticut was in fourth place among the 50 states, according to federal data.

PURA is hosting a public forum Friday at 10 a.m. at its New Britain headquarters that will kick off a new proceeding analyzing energy affordability.

The forum will focus on residential ratepayers specifically, but PURA plans to schedule additional events for commercial and industrial ratepayers.

That forum is just one piece of a much broader effort that Gillett will oversee at PURA to study ways to modernize the electric grid in preparation for a greater number of electric cars, as well as more renewable energy like wind and solar. 

That process, expected to last a few years, will also involve analysis of advanced electric meters, energy storage technology, and interconnection standards for energy generators, among other topics.

As the proceedings kick off, Gillett said PURA will have several core objectives in mind: Achieving economy-wide decarbonization by 2040, as pledged by a recent Lamont executive order; making the grid more resilient and secure; and supporting the growth of the green economy.

“And the cornerstone of all of this is were trying to make energy more affordable,” she said.

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF