Groton Utilities to Adjust PPA Portion of Utility Bill Beginning in January

Electricity costs have risen throughout the country due to several factors, including rising natural gas prices. However, New England is especially susceptible to natural gas pricing volatility due to inadequate infrastructure to supply natural gas to the region. The region relies heavily on natural gas to fuel over 50% of its electric energy requirements. Locally, our power supply costs increased 23% in fiscal year 2022 and are projected to increase by another 23% in 2023.

Groton Utilities continues to do everything we can to absorb and mitigate these higher than normal wholesale electricity markets while maintaining overall fiscal stability. Unfortunately, we have once again reached a point where we can no longer absorb the increase in market costs.

Groton Utilities is very sensitive to any pricing adjustments but unfortunately, these sustained high energy costs will cause Groton Utilities to pass some of these additional costs through to our customers. Beginning January 1, 2023, customers will see an increase in the Purchased Power Adjustment (PPA) portion of their electric bill of $0.01602 kWh.

This will impact all customer classifications from residential, to commercial and industrial. All customers should prepare for higher-than-normal bills this winter. An average residential customer using 700 kWh of electricity per month could see an additional 9% on their bill, or approximately $11.21.

While the PPA has been adjusted to reflect current fuel costs, please be aware that the average Groton Utilities residential customer bill is still $29 less than the average Connecticut electric utility, making our average residential rate 17% less.

Groton Utilities will continue to monitor and review the cost of power and make appropriate adjustments accordingly.

Groton Utilities stresses that now, more than ever, customers need to do all they can to conserve energy to reduce their monthly utility bill. We encourage customers to visit the Residential Energy Conservation section of our website and discover all the different ways you can conserve energy and save money, such as scheduling a free Home Energy Audit and/or starting a home insulation project to reduce heating & cooling costs. Additionally, Groton Utilities is currently running a promotion on rebates for the purchase of Electric Vehicles, HVAC Mini-Splits, Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters and Smart Thermostats. Visit our Residential Energy Conservation Center and learn about all our current offerings.

Rising Energy Costs

Groton Utilities strives to improve the quality of life for the residents that we serve. We do that by providing the foundational infrastructure necessary for a vibrant and resilient community to thrive. As a non-profit, we pride ourselves on providing electric, water, and sewer utility services at reasonable prices.

This upcoming winter is shaping up to be an expensive one, especially when it comes to energy costs. Home heating oil is exceeding $5.00 a gallon and natural gas prices remain near all-time highs. Electricity costs are rising too. Wholesale electricity prices were up 104% last winter and are expected to remain high this coming heating season.

Groton Utilities is dedicated to minimizing these cost impacts as much as possible, while remaining fiscally responsible. Unfortunately the cost of wholesale energy will very likely exceed the point that Groton Utilities can absorb. This will, most likely, result in an increase to the Purchase Power Adjustment (PPA) and Transmission Cost Adjustment (TCA). We feel it is important that customers know this in advance of the coming months, so that they can plan ahead in anticipation of higher heating costs.

Groton Utilities will continue to be proactive in our communication and we will have more information to follow in the upcoming weeks.

Energy Rates Explained

What Can Customers Do?

Now more than ever it is a great time to find ways to conserve energy. Make sure your home is adequately insulated. Check to make sure pipe entry points to your home are caulked and sealed. Keep your thermostat a couple degrees lower than normal and throw on a sweater instead. Use a programmable or smart thermostat to lower temperatures when you are out of the house or asleep. Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater. If you have a hot tub keep the temperature lower between uses. These and many more energy saving tips can be found on our website.

Energy Saving Tips

Additionally, consider taking advantage of our free Home Energy Saving (HES) program. This program is subsidized in part by a State of Connecticut grant and provides a free comprehensive in-home energy assessment service for your dwelling which may include air sealing, ducting testing and sealing, installation of low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to save water, installation of energy-efficient LED light bulbs as well as incentives for insulation upgrades.

Energy Rates Explained

As a publicly owned utility Groton Utilities prides itself on being able to provide services to the community at the lowest rates possible. We are not profit driven, so we design our rates to be as low as possible while allocating funds for necessary expenses to run a utility while also responsibly planning for the future.

Groton Utilities purchases power as part of a cooperative called CMEEC (Connecticut Municipal Electrical Energy Cooperative), which allows us to purchase power “in bulk” along with five other regional publicly owned power companies. This arrangement has been greatly beneficial over the years and plays a huge part in our ability to keep rates lower than the local competition.

Unfortunately, not all costs are within our control, even with the benefits of CMEEC.

The challenge of electricity in New England

Electricity is created by various means in the United States, primarily from natural gas, nuclear energy and coal. Additionally electricity is increasingly created from renewable sources such as wind, hydropower, solar power, biomass, wind, and geothermal. In New England more than 50% of electricity comes from natural gas-fired plants.

The challenge with natural gas as a primary fuel source is two-fold. New England has limited pipeline capacity, so getting enough gas into New England to accommodate the required capacity between power plants and natural gas heated homes can create a strain on supply. Where there is a lack of supply of anything and greater demand there are usually higher prices. Secondly, the war in Asia has created a shortage of natural gas throughout the world, creating more scarcity and therefore higher prices. This affects New England more than other areas.

Groton Utilities does its best to maintain a stable energy supply cost and keep rates below the regional average. Under normal circumstances we can use our rate stabilization fund to keep supply cost fluctuations from affecting customer electrical rates. If outside influences reach a point where we can no longer absorb higher wholesale energy costs then we may need to adjust the PPA (Purchased Power Adjustment) portion of customer’s energy bills.

While we do our very best to avoid such adjustments it is a natural part of rising energy costs and must occasionally be done to remain fiscally responsible.

What can customers do?

Now more than ever it is a great time to find ways to conserve energy. Make sure your home is adequately insolated. Check to make sure pipe entry points to your home are caulked and sealed. Keep your thermostat a couple degrees lower than normal and throw on a sweater instead. Use a programmable or smart thermostat to lower temperatures when you are out of the house or asleep. Turn down the temperature on your hot water heater. If you have a hot tub keep the temperature lower between uses. These and many more energy saving tips can be found on our website at https://grotonutilities.com/energy-conservation/energy-saving-tips/.

Additionally, consider taking advantage of our free Home Energy Saving (HES) program. This program is subsidized in part by a State of Connecticut grant and provides a free comprehensive in-home energy assessment service for your dwelling which may include air sealing, ducting testing and sealing, installation of low-flow shower heads and faucet aerators to save water, installation of energy-efficient LED light bulbs as well as incentives for insulation upgrades.

Planned Outage North of I-95 on 10/14

Outage WarningAll Groton Utilities businesses and residential customers north of I-95 will have a planned emergency power outage for roughly 15 minutes between the hours of 3:00 and 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 14th . This emergency equipment replacement is being performed to avoid an unplanned outage that could affect the area for a much longer period of time. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. Please plan accordingly.