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Connecticut Utility Regulator Adopts New Framework to Improve Electric Utility Regulation

May 5, 2023
Performance-based regulation framework to align with public interest and utility performance; PBR Phase 2 investigation to result in comprehensive regulatory strategy.

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has issued a final decision in Docket No. 21-05-15, as part of its investigation into a Performance-Based Regulation (PBR) framework for the state’s electric distribution companies (EDCs). The decision outlines the establishment of four regulatory goals, five foundational considerations, and nine priority outcomes to guide future electric utility regulation, with the aim of aligning with the public interest and improving utility performance.

The decision reflects a comprehensive framework to modernize Connecticut’s approach to electric utility regulation, considering changing customer expectations, public policy goals, and industry and technology advancements. The regulatory considerations of safety, equity, economic opportunity, risk distribution, and transparency will serve as essential principles in all Authority deliberations and proceedings.

“Today’s PBR decision is a leap forward for customer-centric utility regulation in Connecticut and is consistent with the vision articulated by Governor Lamont and the Take Back Our Grid Act,” said Marissa Gillett, PURA Chairman. Performance-Based Regulation has the potential to align all our regulatory tools to strengthen accountability for utilities and to achieve priority outcomes for customers. These reforms are especially important now, with the transformation underway in the energy and utility industries and with many customers continuing to struggle with high monthly bills.”

The decision also summarizes the forthcoming PBR Phase 2 investigation, which will result in final decisions and orders to implement EDC regulatory reforms through rate cases or other relevant proceedings. The regulatory reforms under further investigation in PBR Phase 2 will create a comprehensive regulatory strategy to achieve the priority outcomes and regulatory goals established in today’s decision, along with PURA’s Equitable Modern Grid Framework.

The PBR Phase 2 investigation will include three distinct investigations of the following regulatory topics: Revenue Adjustment Mechanisms; Performance Mechanisms; and Integrated Distribution System Planning (IDSP). The Revenue Adjustment Mechanism and Performance Mechanism investigations are scheduled for substantial completion in mid-2024, while the IDSP reopener docket is scheduled for completion later in 2024.

PURA will solicit participant comments and proposals throughout the PBR Phase 2 proceedings, encouraging robust stakeholder engagement to ensure inclusive, thorough, and deliberative investigations.

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