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Legislators passed an energy bill in a special session to change the way utilities are regulated news



HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) – Legislators are back in the state capital for a special session.

The State House voted on ten bills on Wednesday, and the Senate will take up those issues on Thursday.

The big item on their agenda on Wednesday was a bill entitled “Take back our grid”.

The legislation aims to change the governance of utilities, create more transparency, and improve how storms are handled.

Around 10:30 p.m., the overwhelming House of Representatives passed the bill.

The legislature discussed it for hours.

This bill will change the way utilities like Eversource and United Illuminating are regulated, move to a performance-based system and issue refunds after 96 hours of downtime.

“This calculation arose from what I would call the perfect storm,” said Rep. Charles Ferraro.

The bill does several things.

This would limit utility companies’ profits, give state regulators more time to review rate hikes, and give refunds to customers who lose groceries or medicines due to an extended power outage.

This is a direct response to Tropical Storm Isaias in August and the intense criticism of major power outages that lasted for days.

“We believe some of these changes will change the way they respond to storms and say we have to respond very, very quickly, otherwise,” said Rep. Matt Ritter.

The legislature passed Law 136 to 4.

RELATED: Legislators Hear From The Public, Eversource About Storm Reaction, Rate Hikes

Some of the other bills deal with the cleaning and remediation of brown sites, which are contaminated sites in the state.

RELATED: Utilities Regulation, Postal Vote On Table As Special Session Begins Tuesday

There is also a bill to finance school construction projects.

The House of Representatives arrives on Wednesday. The Senate enters on Thursday. There could be another session on Friday.

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