Connecticut consumers continue to benefit from the state’s decision to deregulate their electricity market several years ago. Electric choice in Connecticut is providing energy customers with lower prices and more options when buying their electricity.
Almost everyone in Connecticut is serviced by either Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) or the United Illuminating Company. Prior to CT Energy Choice these two utilities were regulated monopolies of electricity generation, transmission and distribution. The decision to create an energy choice market changed the role of CL&P and United Illuminating Company for their customers. Now they are only responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity and are no longer in the business of offering generation rates to customers. Consumers can shop for competitive generation electric rates to find the offer that best fits their needs.
Consumers who do not shop for lower electricity prices pay a default rate that is charged by their utility company and regulated by the state. The default charge is determined by a series of auctions that the state holds for competitive energy companies who bid to serve a certain percentage of default paying consumers. While the money for default generation rates are collected by the utilities (CL&P and United Illuminating), the revenues for these charges are passed through to the energy companies who have won the previously held auction. Electricity choice is about customers getting the best deal that they can find, and not settling for a default rate.
While Connecticut has been a very successful energy choice state, the majority of customers are still paying high default electric rates. Less than 40% of CL&P residential customers and only 45% of United Illuminating residential customers have chosen to purchase energy from alternative suppliers. Currently CL&P default paying customers can save 10% on their monthly electric bill by choosing a low cost electric supplier. United Illuminating consumers can save as much as 20% versus their default generation prices.