Eversource needs to be replaced (Draft Letter)

Eversouce cannot be trusted. Lets look at their recent history of news stories :

2012 : After Climate Change fueled Super Storm Sandy left many CT residents without power Eversource promised that they would make the system more reliable. They failed. They blamed the outages on too much tree cover so they could look like they were doing something while not changing their business at all.

2017 : Along with Avangrid, Eversource was found to have manipulated fracked gas pipeline capacity to raise prices and make more profit.
https://www.utilitydive.com/news/eversource-avangrid-artificially-constrained-gas-pipeline-capacity-for-yea/507018/

2018 : After doing nothing to transition to safer renewable energy , Eversource demands a rate hike with no improvement in service.
https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180131_customers_pan_eversource_rate_request/

2019 : Eversource finally gets it rate hike, to be implemented in 2020. They promise no improvement in service or reliability.

2020 : Another storm hits CT and leaves Eversource’s customers without power for a week or more at the same time that customer bills skyrocket during a health, economic and unemployment crisis for the people of CT. Turns out that cutting down trees didn’t help and they spent the rate hike revenue on executive pay and corporate bonuses.

This pattern of behavior, some of it mirrored by United Illuminating , is evidence that Eversource has not fulfilled it’s duty as the regulated utility monopoly of providing reliable electric service to the people of CT. The only success they have had in the last decade was making it’s executives rich and state residents poor. This transfer of money, to those who need it the least, was aided and abetted by the state regulators , PURA, and those in the state government that are either in the pocket of the utilities or so naive that they trust the baseless claims that they will lower energy costs.

The events of 2020 has shown that many of our systems are broken beyond repair. Not the least of these is the energy and electricity system run by for profit utility companies. The only response to a system this broken is to replace it with a different and better system. We need an energy grid that prioritizes safe and reliable service, without a limitation of having to turn a profit. We need a clean, renewable , community controlled utility that is based on non-polluting energy from sun, wind and water. Continuing to depend on toxic fracked gas or radioactive material with no way of dealing with the waste products is not sustainable, safe or beneficial to the people of CT. In addition removing the need for the purchase of fossil fuel , with unpredictably fluctuating costs, will lower the cost to the consumer and keep the reduced amount we pay for energy from leaving the state to benefit multinational corporations.

This kind of energy is within reach with current technology as is laid out by the Solutions Project. And our regulators and legislators have the power to create it. We saw recently when there was a popular uproar over the increase in electric bills PURA stepped in and took action to lower the rates and return money to customers. It would have been better if they had foresight to listen to advocacy groups who warned them not to raise rates in the first place but as the saying goes : better late than never. However, this action is evidence that the CT government has the power to build a better , more sustainable, more reliable, more climate friendly solution to providing it’s constituents with the electric service they need. In addition , taking action to remake our energy system would provide a boost in jobs for CT residents when stable green jobs are needed the most.

We don’t need to wait for some new technology, or wait for Eversource, United Illuminating, Avengrid, NTE, Dominion and PSEG to see the error of investing in fossil fuels. In fact these companies have been an obstacle to climate safe prolicies. Gov. Lamont, DEEP Comm Dykes, PURA and our representatives in state government have the power and the responsibility to act now to sever our connection to these vampire utilities and energy producers. They only exist to suck money from the people of CT. We can live and thrive without them and it about time we started to do so.

Ben Martin
350 CT
CT Climate Crisis Mobilization