PURA: Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Announces Landmark Equitable Modern Grid Framework

2019 Press Release
 
October 3, 2019

Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Announces Landmark Equitable Modern Grid Framework

Decision expected to transform electric sector in the state

(New Britain, CT) – In a decision expected to have far-reaching implications for the state’s electric sector and green economy, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA or the Authority) voted yesterday to approve its plan to modernize the electric grid. The unanimous decision outlined PURA’s vision for the next several years, including a framework for achieving an Equitable Modern Grid to benefit all Connecticut ratepayers. Next steps on the eleven near-term pathways identified by the decision begin this month, with all investigations targeted to realize four main objectives.

"The electric sector is the backbone of the economy, and yet we still face significant energy affordability challenges in this state for our residents and businesses," said Marissa P. Gillett, chairman of PURA. "The Equitable Modern Grid framework established by this decision will ensure that we keep the affordability component front of mind in the transition to an economy-wide, decarbonized future."

The Equitable Modern Grid framework is designed to achieve the following objectives: (1) support, or remove barriers to, the growth of Connecticut’s green economy; (2) enable a cost-effective, economy-wide transition to a decarbonized future; (3) enhance customer access to a more resilient, reliable and secure electricity commodity; and (4) advance the ongoing energy affordability dialogue in the state, particularly in underserved communities.

According to John W. Betkoski, III, vice-chairman of PURA, "I am proud to endorse yesterday’s historic decision, which reflects years of robust stakeholder input. PURA is prepared to oversee a process that maximizes the value of ratepayers’ investment in shaping the electrified economy of the future."

In recognizing Connecticut’s longstanding commitment to competition as a "harbinger of more productive outcomes," the Authority’s decision outlines an iterative process that will invite proposals from the utilities, private developers, local and national experts, limited-income and environmental advocates and others in an effort to solve for the eleven opportunity statements identified by PURA.

"This Framework is an important development in regulatory affairs. This process will help the Authority address some very important issues in a comprehensive and structured manner so we can assess their viability, reliability and affordability for Connecticut’s ratepayers and businesses," said Michael Caron, commissioner of PURA.

A tentative procedural schedule for the first set of pathways to be investigated by the Authority is available below. Parties interested in participating in one or more of the dockets should contact the Authority’s advisor, Joshua Ryor, for more information.

Tentative Procedural Schedule for Phase II

Reopened Proceeding

Solutions Day / Public Forum

2nd Solutions Day / Public Forum

Alternate Date

RE01 –
Energy Affordability

October 25th
(Residential)

December 4th
(Commercial and Industrial)

November 1st
(Residential)

RE02 –
Advanced Metering Infrastructure

October 28th

-

November 5th

RE03 –
Electric Storage

November 14th

November 15th

December 6th

RE04 –
Zero Emission Vehicles

November 22nd

December 20th

-

RE05 –
Innovation Pilots

December 13th

-

December 17th

RE06 –
Interconnection Standards

November 11th
(Best Practices)

November 25th
(Other)

-

###

About the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority:


The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is statutorily charged with regulating the rates and services of Connecticut's investor owned electricity, natural gas, water and telecommunication companies and is the franchising authority for the state’s cable television companies. In the industries that are still wholly regulated, PURA balances the public’s right to safe, adequate and reliable utility service at reasonable rates with the provider’s right to a reasonable return on its investment. PURA also keeps watch over competitive utility services to promote equity among the competitors while customers reap the price and quality benefits of competition and are protected from unfair business practices.