Affordable and Efficient Energy for All

On Friday, March 22, we joined the Tenant Energy Advocacy (TEA) Project and Nonprofit Accountability Group (NAG), tenants, and supporters of tenants’ energy rights in their community conversation with Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) Chairman, Marissa Paslick Gillett.

TEA’s goal is, “to better understand low-income tenants’ experiences with energy expenses, energy efficiency, and collective action around energy issues.” Annie Harper, Principle Investigator for the TEA Project, and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, gave a brief presentations on TEA’s recent findings. When engaging with tenants to learn their insights, their main takeaways can be found here. Annie highlighted how the vast majority of tenants, worst case scenario, can’t get even get in contact with their landlords while they live in horrible conditions described in the study. Thus, “Thinking about energy efficient is a luxury,” stated Annie. It’s difficult for tenants to prioritize energy efficiency when there are pressing issues like a leaking roof and moldy bathrooms.

After a sharing of these findings, PURA Chairman, Marissa Gillett, talked about PURA’s role and how it, “is statutorily-charged with ensuring that Connecticut’s investor-owned utilities, including the state’s electric, natural gas, water, and telecommunications companies, provide safe, clean, reliable, and affordable utility service and infrastructure.”

Chairwoman Gillett discussed all the ways tenants can engage meaningfully and effectively with PURA including – but not limited to – receiving “Group Compensation” from PURA to hire expert witnesses and/or lawyers and pay for other activities enabling them to participate in the “dockets” which appear before them. Dockets are akin to legal proceedings and require evidence to be entered into the record for the PURA commissioners to use as basis for their decisions. These dockets include matters like setting the rates utilities can charge (“rate cases”), establishing a performance-based ratemaking structure (“PBR”), shared clean energy facilities (“SCEF”), the newly minted low-income discount rate (“LIDR”), and more.

For more resources or to get involved, please email or Kathy Fay at

I Heart My Home CT is a proud partner of the Tenant Energy and Advocacy Project.

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