Understanding Your Connecticut Light and Power Bills

The groundwork for electrical restructuring, or what is now more commonly called as electricity deregulation, started way back in 1978 with the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act or PURPA which allowed non-utility companies aside from Connecticut Light and Power to build power plants of their own. It was only in 1992 when the Energy Policy Act enacted by the United States Congress concretized the provisions for the deregulation of the energy market.

Before deregulation, the full service utility company serving the state was Connecticut Light and Power, which handled the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity to consumers. The law restructuring the electricity industry in Connecticut was passed and Connecticut Light and Power passed ownership of power generating plants to independent electric companies. Consumers now have the power to select electric providers who are competing for market share in the deregulated industry.

The task of maintaining and operating the transmission and distribution infrastructure remained regulated and under the management of Connecticut Light and Power. Their role was made evident as the company scrambled to bring back electricity services and address more than 675,000 outages across the state due to storm damage brought about by record amounts of snow dumped by a rare October storm. This storm was the worst in Connecticut history which brought power disruptions to hundreds of thousands of homes in areas affected heavily by this storm.

Knowing the difference between the role of Connecticut Light and Power and the retail electricity providers, consumers can understand their electric bills better. Charges are now itemized to show what people are paying for Connecticut Light and Power transmission and distribution services and what they are paying for electricity generation. Understanding this, consumers can appreciate their power to choose an electricity provider that offers cheaper rates that would be substantial in lowering their electric bills, as well as better services due to a more competitive energy market.