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Blumenthal Urges PURA Investigation of Aggressive, Abhorrent Utility Collection Practices During Pandemic

Eversource and Avangrid obtained more than 300 court judgments, including wage garnishments, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Eversource CEO made almost $25 million over past two years, other executives made over $1 million

[HARTFORD, CT] – U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) today wrote to Marissa Gillet, Chair of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), in support of the Office of Consumer Counsel’s petition to investigate collections and wage garnishment practices by Eversource and Avangrid during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of the actions by both utilities, more than 300 court judgments were obtained against customers, including wage garnishments.

“Prior to the pandemic, many households were already unable to pay their utility bills. The pandemic -- with families advised to stay home in order to protect themselves and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and unemployment soaring to record levels -- increased this economic stress. It is therefore highly inexcusable for utility companies to aggressively pursue residents who were already having trouble meeting their financial obligations,” wrote Blumenthal.

Further, between 2020 and 2021, Eversource CEO Joseph Nolan received almost $25 million in total compensation, with other executives earning more than $1 million. Avangrid executives also received several million dollars during the same period.

“While households were facing a financial crisis, Eversource Energy and Avangrid were looking to increase their revenue on the backs of consumers who could not afford to pay their electric bills.  It is critically important that PURA aggressively investigate these anti-consumer activities as requested by the state Office of Consumer Counsel’s (OCC),” added Blumenthal.