Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



May 23, 2022

Energy and Technology Committee Chairs Release Statement Responding to Increased Electric Rates

Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) and State Representative David Arconti (D-Danbury), Senate and House Chairs of the Energy & Technology Committee, released the following statement in response to recent announcements by Eversource and United Illuminating that the price of electricity will rise higher than expected or recently seen in Connecticut during summer months:

“The recently announced rise in electric rates for Eversource and United Illuminating customers, mainly due to natural gas pipeline constraints, global supply chain issues related to the delivery of oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) and Russia’s war in Ukraine, is a stark reminder that ISO New England’s wholesale electricity markets need meaningful reform. That means pushing the region away from an over-reliance on fossil fuels to generate most of its electricity and removing barriers to renewable energy resources entering the markets. The need for a more robust energy portfolio is especially acute after ISO-NE sounded an alarm last winter that the region could experience significant reliability issues in extreme cold.

Whether it is geopolitical uncertainties or extreme weather, it is possible that ISO-NE could be caught unprepared for an energy emergency. Every RTO/ISO region in the country has reliability and market issues. In Connecticut, we need a consistent and reliable grid. Texas and California are two recent examples of reliability issues due to extreme weather. ISO-NE needs to take action to ensure we do not potentially follow suit.

Since early 2021, ISO-NE, New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) stakeholders and the states have been working on ‘Pathways to a Future Grid’ that has produced a report and trove of data to evaluate four potential market designs and how they meet the region’s aggressive climate and clean energy goals. This process is supposed to determine if there is a consensus on a path forward during the coming months, but since NEPOOL meetings are not public, very few people have a view into the decision-making that eventually creates market designs and reforms. Outside of an upcoming public webinar, we encourage ISO-NE and NEPOOL to be as transparent as possible moving forward with the ongoing process and eventual outcome of these market designs, which will have a wide-ranging impact on public policy.