Norm Needleman


Norm Needleman



January 9, 2024
State Senator Norm Needleman
Contact: Joe O’Leary | | 508-479-4969
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January 9, 2024


State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), Senate Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, welcomed several recent decisions made by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority supporting advances in energy storage, public representation for rate cases in the state and enhancements to energy infrastructure. All of these steps will enhance quality of energy distribution and service for Connecticut ratepayers.

“These approvals from PURA are the result of hard work from its staff and a strong working relationship between the Authority and legislators. They represent enhancements to the quality of service and ratepayers will deserve and appreciate the benefits they represent,” said Sen. Needleman. “United Illuminating’s approved energy storage systems will not only aid the local community but, if successful, stand as a blueprint for adoption of energy storage systems statewide as another means to mitigate power outages. Stakeholder compensation provides ratepayers with a valuable resource they can use to have a voice in rate increase proposals. Adoption of advanced metering infrastructure will make utility services more efficient at lower costs. All of these empower Connecticut ratepayers and can make a huge difference for residents statewide.”

PURA’s first decision made in January followed the legislature’s 2022 passage of “An Act Concerning Energy Storage Systems and Electric Distribution System Reliability,” which involved proposals for pilot programs focused on building, owning and operating energy storage systems. PURA approved three projects proposed by United Illuminating in Bridgeport, New Haven and North Haven. These projects will provide energy outage support to three senior housing facilities in Bridgeport, a senior living care facility in North Haven and a magnet high school in New Haven. The authority also rejected three battery storage microgrid proposals from Eversource as there was insufficient evidence they would provide value to ratepayers. Eversource will be asked to submit three additional proposals by May 31.

PURA this month also released a final decision creating a Stakeholder Group Compensation Program. Developed after the passage of Senate Bill 7 in 2023, this program involves the creation of stakeholder compensation for traditionally underrepresented groups, such as small business customers, environmental justice communities or those receiving protection as hardship cases. For rate case dockets opened on or after January 3, 2024, stakeholder groups will be able to apply for compensation for attorney’s fees, expert witness fees and other costs needed to prepare for, participate and make meaningful contributions in PURA proceedings. Program compensation will be limited to $100,000 per group, $300,000 per proceeding and $1.2 million for the program in a calendar year.

A third decision made by PURA in early January involves the state’s electric distribution companies using Advanced Metering Infrastructure, which allows for real-time monitoring and management of energy consumption, promoting efficiency, reliability and integration of renewable energy sources in the modern power grid. PURA created a regulatory roadmap for utilities to follow to recover costs associated with deployment. AMI technology will have benefits including timely and accurate restoration notifications, remote identification of downed wires, more accurate load forecasting during peak load weather events and improved system planning and deployment of technologies such as rooftop solar and battery storage. Further benefits are expected to include reduced costs for capital for meter replacement and reductions in operation and maintenance costs, as well as reduced carbon emissions.