Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



April 19, 2024
State Senator Norm Needleman
Contact: Joe O’Leary | | 508-479-4969


Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), Senate Chair of the Energy & Technology Company, released the following statement in response to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority’s decision this week approving rate increase requests from state utility companies Eversource and United Illuminating, and related comments made this week by utility and political leaders:

“How does a company with an underlying profit of more than $1.5 billion plead unfair treatment the day after Connecticut’s regulators gave them everything they requested? Worse, they threatened the state of Connecticut, saying they will not fulfill their obligations to build out improvements to the electric grid necessary to support our policy goals. This week, Eversource received every penny it requested, but it’s still complaining. This behavior is threatening, vindictive and irresponsible, not to mention disrespectful to ratepayers facing another increase to their monthly bills. When you get what you want and you’re still whining, one has to wonder, is there something else going on under the hood?

If Eversource does not want to make green energy investments in our grid, for which it receives full reimbursement and an additional profit on top of out-of-pocket costs, maybe we should consider a review of their franchise agreement, which allows them to operate as a monopoly with no competition. The only thing protecting ratepayers from corporate greed is a regulatory authority that does its job appropriately and acts as a proxy for ratepayers and the free market. If they are unwilling to honor that agreement, then maybe the state needs to reconsider its commitment to allow them to operate as a monopoly.

The General Assembly will continue to enable our regulators to provide appropriate oversight in the best interest of Connecticut’s ratepayers and won’t be threatened or intimidated by a company whose primary interest is shareholder profit and compensation for senior executives.

More baffling is the Republicans’ apparent change of heart and their support of this behavior. In recent years, bills passed by broad bipartisan majorities with the intent of holding these utilities accountable. It appears Republicans are having buyer’s remorse after having done the right thing by supporting those bills.

Amid all this noise and fury, it appears the Republicans are parroting the utilities, creating an echo chamber that constantly supports the interests of the utilities and not the ratepayers. Democrats will continue to support the interests of the ratepayers while doing everything we can to advance our energy goals, looking to the future for generations to come.”

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