Representatives Dubitsky and Lanoue’s Proposal to Study Breaking Up Electric Distribution Monopoly to be Taken Up in 2021 Session

This article was published on: 10/5/20 3:35 PM by Mike Minarsky

Hartford – During debate of the electric distribution reform bill, H.B. 7006, in the legislature’s September 30th Special Session, State Representative’s Doug Dubitsky (R-47) spoke on the House Floor about an amendment he and Brian Lanoue (R-45) drafted to investigate alternative ways to distribute electricity in Connecticut. The proposed study would research ways to make the electrical distribution system more affordable, reliable, and accountable to the ratepayers. Because the companies who operate the large distribution networks in Connecticut, Eversource and United Illuminating, are not government entities, Rep. Dubitsky explained that the state cannot simply break them up. Instead, the legislature should investigate reorganizing the regulated distribution market.

Since the amendment, LCO #4445, would study effecting major policy changes for the state, Rep. Dubitsky proposed that the study should have a full legislative vetting through the committee process and a public hearing in a regular legislative session. It should not be passed as part of an emergency certified bill in a special session.  House Majority Leader, Matt Ritter (D-1), committed to running such a bill during the next regular session, which begins in January.

“Along with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, we have ensured that alternatives to our current costly, unreliable, and unaccountable electrical distribution system will be thoroughly studied and vetted in the upcoming regular legislative session,” said Rep. Dubitsky.

“We need to give the ratepayers, our constituents, people who are already struggling to meet their obligations, relief from some of the most expensive energy costs in the country,” said Rep. Lanoue. “The best way to do that is to create competition in the energy markets. The municipal electrical public utilities, including Jewett City and Norwich Public Utilities, have done very well, especially regarding the restoration times during our last major storm. LCO 4445, that Representative Dubitsky and I drafted, is a good first step in reaching this goal. It would establish a task force to look at the possibility of breaking up the electrical distribution monopoly in Connecticut and examine the costs and benefits of bringing alternatives in electrical distribution to market. It would include looking at the possibility of municipal public utilities expanding their service area, specifically the costs of acquiring the electrical distribution infrastructure such as poles and wires. I look forward, to continuing to work with the legislature on moving this exciting legislation forward which will hopefully help give the people of our districts and throughout Connecticut some much-needed relief.”

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