State plans local hearing for public on electric supplier problems

The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will hold five public hearings around the state to allow people to comment on their experiences with electric suppliers.

The first hearing will take place near Shelton, on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Milford City Hall auditorium, 70 West River St., Milford. A Feb. 27 meeting is scheduled for Waterbury.

PURA scheduled the hearings due to recent legislative changes and a spike in customer complaints against various electric suppliers during the past few months.

‘Skyrocketing rates’ by suppliers

Elin Swanson Katz, state consumer counsel, said members of the public are welcome to attend the hearings to offer comments or concerns.

“My office has received many complaints about skyrocketing electric rates and other issues relating to electric suppliers in the last couple months, mostly from people who felt they were taken advantage of,” Katz said.

“PURA is doing a thorough investigation, and this is a chance for folks to come and share their experiences and concerns with the regulators and other government officials in attendance,” she said.

Advocate for utility ratepayers

Katz said members of the state Office of Consumer Counsel will attend every meeting. The office acts as an advocate for all utility ratepayers in Connecticut, and will fulfill that role in the PURA proceeding.

The Office of Consumer Counsel seeks to ensure just and reasonable rates and reliable utility service for customers of Connecticut’s electric, gas, telephone, and water utilities as well as reasonable protection for cable-TV customers.

People can go to the agency’s website at for up-to-date energy news on topics such as electricity prices.

Hearing schedule and letters

The complete schedule for meetings follows:

— Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the Milford City Hall auditorium, 70 West River St., Milford.

— Thursday, Feb. 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Farmington Community Senior Center, 321 New Britain Ave., Farmington.

— Monday Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 135, Brookfield Town Hall, 100 Pocono Road, Brookfield.

— Tuesday, Feb, 25 at 6:30 p.m. at Norwich City Hall, 100 Broadway, Norwich.

— Thursday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. in Waterbury City Hall’s Veterans Memorial Hall, second Floor, 235 Grand St., Waterbury.

The hearings will continue in March at the PURA office, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain.

PURA also will accept letters from members of the general public who have an interest in the outcome of this proceeding through the last day of the hearing (Docket No. 13-07-18).