Why the Outrageous CT January Electric Bill?
CT energy customers can’t seem to catch a break. They deal with some of the highest electricity rates in the country. And they’ve been dealing with another year of rough winter storms. On top of that, January’s energy bills were an unwelcome surprise. Let’s try and make sense and figure out why your CT electric bill has been so high?
Winter Energy Supply Constraints
Winter bills are usually higher due to heating costs. But the New England states had a lot of supply constraints working against them this year.
According to this EIA article, high demand and supply constraints contributed to natural gas prices increasing. Natural gas consumption for space heating and electric power generation rose to 4.9 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d). This is the most its been since January 2021. In fact, New England’s natural gas demand is up 13% compared to the previous five-season average.
But the problem is that New England’s pipeline had constraints that kept it from keeping up.
From January 7-21 this year, natural gas-fired generation declined 14% compared to December 31-January 6. These constraints not only limited the amount of natural gas that could be delivered through its three gas pipelines to CT power plants but due to scarcity also increased its price. The higher prices led to the reactivation of several power plants that could burn fuel oil to help meet higher electric demand. And New England hasn’t had to burn lots of fuel oil to meet demand since January 2018.
Winter Storm Affects Electricity Rates
Let’s not forget how bad winter has been in CT. Last year, Tropical Storm Isaias left over 700,000 without power. This year saw outages for about 300,000 customers. But unlike last year, Eversource was quick to organize over 1,700 work crews to restore power.
And of course, Eversource will want to recover costs for these work crews. Last year, the utility had limits placed on cost recovery because of their poor response to the storm. And it’s likely that cost recovery was and will be reflected in energy bills.
Effects of Low Fuel Reserves
Early this month, it was reported that energy security would be a big topic during the 2022 general assembly. CT lawmakers are concerned about how the grid could keep the lights on during this cold winter. In particular, the Independent System Operator of New England (ISO NE), the grid operator, issued reports that point to fuel scarcity as a problem. For weeks, ISO NE has urged CT to make resupply a priority. If this problem continues it could lead to rolling black outs. As you can guess, lawmakers are searching for solutions. Especially during this year’s cold winter.
These talks didn’t affect January’s bills. But they do point out factors that could render the grid unreliable during bad weather. This means that solutions would require major changes which could increases costs and raise bills.
Understand Your CT Electric Bill
So many things contributed to making your CT electric bill higher this month that it been hard to keep track of them all. And February’s may be just as high. However, CT customers can keep up with the news that affects your bills at https://www.ctenergyratings.com. You can also shop for great plans and find ways to save money on lower electricity rates.