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May 20, 2021

Regulators secure $9.4M in credits for electricity customers in overbilling probe

Photo | Contributed A domestic digital electricity meter.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority announced Wednesday it has recovered $9.4 million for Connecticut ratepayers who were overbilled by electricity suppliers.

In a statement, the agency said it investigated allegations that certain third-party electricity companies did not provide information about future rate changes to utilities, resulting in some ratepayers being charged more than the amount displayed on their monthly electricity bill. The probe, which started in late 2018, ultimately determined there was “reason to believe” several electricity suppliers had violated regulations by failing to communicate updated rate cycles in a timely manner.

PURA promised amnesty from civil penalties to any supplier willing to self-report those violations up to Jan. 28, 2019 and provide refunds to affected customers. A total of 25 companies opted to accept that offer, and 22 submitted amnesty plans.

The participating electricity suppliers initially offered around $4 million in customer bill credits, but regulators said they audited data from the amnesty plans and worked with the suppliers to boost that figure to $9.4 million.

Bill credits for affected customers have been in the process of being applied to monthly power bills since mid-2020, and will continue through the rest of this calendar year, PURA said. The agency did not say exactly how many ratepayers are now receiving those credits.

Electricity suppliers that did not take part in the amnesty process may still be subject to an investigation and possible fines, according to regulators.


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