electricity generation

AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File

Connecticut’s utility regulators would like their agency to once again be independent. The agency used to be known as the Department of Public Utility Control, until four years ago. That's when Governor Dannel Malloy changed the name to Public Utility Regulatory Authority, or PURA, and placed it under the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Malloy said he did that in an effort to make government more efficient.

Most electricity consumers in Connecticut are getting a rate increase on Jan. 1. That’s because state regulators approved higher rates for Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating today.

The reason for the increase is because the cost of getting natural gas to electricity power plants has been rising due to limited pipeline capacity, said Dennis Schain, a spokesman for the Public Utility Regulatory Authority.

The Connecticut House of Representatives joined the state Senate on Monday in unanimously approving a bill to provide more transparent billing and marketing by electricity suppliers. Lawmakers passed the bill in response to hundreds of consumer complaints about sharply higher prices and deceptive marketing.

Frigid cold temperatures this week  means a lot of folks are cranking  up the thermostats in their homes. And it turns out one result of that has been a spike in the cost of natural gas, and an increase in the amount of oil and oil used for electricity generation. Jan Ellen Spiegel of the Connecticut Mirror explained what’s happening to WSHU’s Mark Herz.

Read Jan Ellen Spiegel's story in the Connecticut Mirror here.