(WTNH)–The number of Eversource customers getting their electricity shut off for non-payment almost doubled in the last two years.
The News 8 Investigators received data from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, or PURA, showing 52,298 Eversource electricity accounts were disconnected for non-payment in 2017. It was an almost 100% increase from the 28,851 disconnected in 2015.
The findings come in the same week that PURA announced an investigation into customers receiving inaccurate bills.
The News 8 Investigators reported last week about the call by State Senator Len Suzio for a probe after finding his Eversource bills were overcharging him for several months and inaccurately stating his rate. News 8’s George Colli asked him if he thinks there is a correlation between the inaccurate bills and increased number of disconnects.
“When you start making critical decisions like shutting someone off from electricity or heat, you’re making a decision based on information where no one knows for sure if its reliable or not,” said Suzio.
Eversource blames Suzio’s third-party supplier, Spark Energy, with giving them the wrong information, but the company could not say whether or not any of the customers that were inaccurately charged were disconnected for non-payment.
“We understand it’s our name at the top of the bill but customers, if they have a third party supplier, they have to look at the bill every month,” said Eversource spokesman Mitch Gross. “Could some of the third party customers have been affected? Yes, but however, since only 28% of our customers use a third party supplier, well you draw your own conclusion on that statistic.”
Gross added that the increasing price of energy could be leading to more disconnected accounts.
“When you look at the price of energy, unfortunately in Connecticut and across New England, continues to tick upwards unfortunately and that has caused problems for additional customers,” said Gross. “You know, sometimes things get a little tight. We understand that.”
Gross says that anyone who has an issue with their bill should reach out and the company will try to help out. He says the worst thing you can do is nothing.