R 197
2001-H 6402
Enacted 5/8/2001

H  O  U  S  E     R  E  S  O  L  U  T  I  O  N


Introduced By:  Representatives Harwood, Kennedy, Henseler, Menard and San Bento Date Introduced:   May 8, 2001

WHEREAS, Residential customers of Narragansett Electric Company were paying electricity rates that were the sixth highest in the nation before seeing their bills increase five times since June, 2000; and

WHEREAS, Most Rhode Islanders now pay 30% more for electricity than they paid just nine months ago; and

WHEREAS, Narragansett Electric's "Standard Offer Rate", the rate most Rhode Islander's pay, has risen from 3.8 cents per kilowatt hour in June, 2000 to 6.302 cents per kilowatt hour in April, 2001...an increase of 66%; and

WHEREAS, Rhode Island citizens must be protected from excessive electric-rate increases, especially our senior citizens, the disadvantaged, and those on a fixed income; and

WHEREAS, The Utility Restructuring Act of 1996, intended to deliver industry competition and lower energy prices to Rhode Islanders, must be revisited and thoroughly examined; and

WHEREAS, In order to avoid the disastrous situation that exists in California today, where 30 blackouts are predicted for this summer, we must take immediate action; and

WHEREAS, The House of Representatives must determine whether said act should be repealed, amended, or left in its current form; and

WHEREAS, The Rhode Island House Corporations Committee will be asked to hold hearings on said 1996 law, to determine if the deregulated electricity industry in Rhode Island has been a failure, and to explore all available options to provide rate relief to all Rhode Island citizens; now, therefore be it

RESOLVED, That this House of Representatives of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations hereby calls for a review of Rhode Island's Utility Restructuring Act of 1996 in order to bring energy costs under control and to make electricity affordable for all Rhode Islanders.

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