utilities

MIT

Power markets and utility regulators need to rethink the way they do business, as new technologies begin to change how we generate electricity.

Karim D. Ghantous / Creative Commons

The threat of cyber attacks -- and the risks posed to water, natural gas, and electric supplies -- are very real. That's according to the head of the agency that regulates public utilities in Connecticut. 

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Customers of United Illuminating will soon be getting used to the Avangrid name at the top of their bills.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In December, Connecticut regulators approved the $3 billion merger of Spanish firm Iberdrola and New Haven-based UIL Holdings. The news came just two weeks after the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a draft decision OK-ing the deal. 

avangrid.com

Iberdrola USA and UIL Holdings Corporation have closed on the Spanish firm's $3 billion purchase of the Connecticut parent company of several local energy firms.

At Sunday night's Jefferson Jackson dinner, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders took a moment on the stage to express his opposition to the Northeast Energy Direct—the controversial natural gas pipeline proposed by Kinder Morgan.

"I opposed the Keystone Pipeline from day one," Sanders said. "And that is why, here in New Hampshire, I believe the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline, that would direct fracked natural gas for four hundred miles, through seventeen communities, is a bad idea, and should be opposed."

A controversial natural gas pipeline proposed to cut across Southern New Hampshire has submitted its application to Federal Regulators. 

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Electricity customers in Connecticut are getting some good news and bad news on winter heating costs.

michael flickr.com/photos/fallsroad/5060557110 / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Consumer Counsel is advising that Connecticut residents who buy electricity from third-party retail electric suppliers should take a close look at their bills this month.

Fracking Opponents Shift Focus To Gas Pipelines

Oct 14, 2015

Hydrofracking has been banned in New York State for nearly a year now,  but opponents of the natural gas extraction process have other concerns, including new pipelines.

Almost a year after its shutdown, the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant is still sparking debate over safety, spending and the disposal of nuclear waste.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission flickr.com/photos/nrcgov/6517600977/ / Creative Commons

Federal regulators have begun an inspection of the Millstone Unit 2 nuclear power plant to review problems associated with a leaking relief valve.

The Atomic Safety and Licensing Board has agreed with Vermont that a hearing is needed over the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant's use of money from its decommissioning fund for management of radioactive waste at the plant site.

Fish Stocks Rebound After Vermont Yankee Shutdown

Sep 4, 2015

A leading environmentalist says fish populations in the Connecticut River have rebounded after the shutdown of the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant.

Невідомий / Creative Commons

Gov. Charlie Baker has filed a bill that calls for the purchase of hydroelectric power by Massachusetts utilities.

Baker called the legislation submitted to the state Senate on Thursday a critical step in reducing the state's carbon footprint while also helping ratepayers by providing a cost effective alternative to coal and oil.

Невідомий / Creative Commons

State regulators look poised to reject a $3 billion foreign takeover of Connecticut’s second largest utility. 

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Unexpected price spikes in home energy bills have been a focus for legislators this session, but a new study says even programs designed to lessen the impact of your monthly bill could still be impacting your wallet. 

Updated at 2:30 p.m. ET

Large portions of Washington, D.C., were hit by power outages Tuesday, momentarily plunging the White House and other buildings into darkness.

The Pepco utility company says the culprit was a transmission line in southern Maryland that caused "a dip in voltage" shortly before 1 p.m. ET. The power company says there was never a loss of permanent supply of electricity, but the situation caused some customers to move to their backup systems, which is what caused the dip in voltage.

Thomas Hopkins / Creative Commons

A bill that would cap charges for electric services paid by residential customers is moving through the Connecticut General Assembly.

The legislature's Energy and Technology Committee on Tuesday approved a bill capping the monthly, fixed charge at $10. The bill now awaits further action in the Senate.

Politicians and consumer groups voiced concerns about a recent state decision to increase the fix charges imposed by Eversource Energy from $16 to $19.50. Eversource originally requested a $25.50 charge, saying the revenue is needed to cover the utility's expenses.

Kate Ter Haar / Creative Commons

Customers of Connecticut Light and Power, Yankee Gas, and other Northeast Utility brands are getting used to a new name as of Monday. All of NU’s subsidiaries are now Eversource Energy. 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Emails and calls are some of the ways Connecticut Light and Power has begun reaching out to its customers ahead of the expected massive snowstorm, mindful of criticism over lengthy outages during past storms. 

ISO-New England

New England's electricity grid operator said natural gas pipeline bottlenecks and retirement of aging power plants could put pressure on the price of energy.

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Back in 2011, a few things changed for PURA, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Its staff was cut, and it developed a closer relationship with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Some of PURA's budget and its hiring authority shifted over to DEEP, and the move changed the way the board does its main job: reviewing the performance of power companies.

CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy has sharply rebuked his own utility regulators in a dispute over how the agency should be governed.

The commissioners of the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, headed by chairman Arthur House, wrote to Malloy at the end of last month expressing deep dissatisfaction with the decision four years ago to bring PURA under the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for a federal review of electric rate hikes by CL&P and other providers nationwide. 

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Legislators and lobbyists are calling for the state's largest electric utility to lower its fixed residential charge with a new proposal that would set Connecticut Light and Power's fixed rate at $10.00 a month.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Consumers who are scrambling to lower their electric rates in the new year are being urged to exercise caution. Looming rate increases from Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating have many considering signing up for an alternative supplier for the first time. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Attorney General George Jepsen has welcomed the cut that regulators look likely to make to Connecticut Light and Power’s requested rate hike, but he said they should go further. 

EyeLights/iStock / Thinkstock

State regulators, in a draft ruling, have reduced the permanent rate increase proposed by Connecticut Light and Power, slashing the number from $221 million to about $130 million. It’s big news in the ongoing controversy over the energy company’s plan to increase electric rates.

Невідомий / Creative Commons

Connecticut regulators say that a power utility's request to raise consumer costs by more than $230 million should be cut nearly in half. 

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