Eversource nearly doubles non-payment shut-offs prompting investigation

Eversource nearly doubles non-payment shut-offs prompting investigation

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy says Connecticut regulators are investigating why utility Eversource has nearly doubled the number of electricity service shut-offs for nonpayment over the past few years.

The Connecticut Democrat said Friday that he was told by the chairwoman of the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority that the agency is looking into the disconnections.

Murphy called for the agency to investigate after WTNH-TV reported in February that electricity service disconnections by Eversource increased to nearly 52,300 in 2017 from about 28,900 in 2015, based on the agency’s data.

The state regulatory authority did not immediately return messages seeking comment Friday.

An Eversource spokeswoman said the utility appreciates Murphy’s concerns and will work cooperatively with PURA to provide all the information needed. 

 “As an energy provider, the last thing we want to do is shut off a customer’s power,” said spokeswoman Tricia Taskey Modifica. “However it’s important to note, unpaid bills drive up costs for everyone else. 

Eversource provides customers with information about hardship programs through bill messages, advertisements and social media. It also provides energy efficiency options to lower costs, Taskey Modifica said. 

“We always suggest customers call us immediately if they’re having difficulty paying their bill so we can work with them,” she said. 

Eversource officials have also said disconnections may have increased because of rising energy prices.

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