Connecticut utility regulators end state’s natural gas expansion plan launched in 2013, citing rising costs, push for zero emissions

Connecticut’s utility regulators on Wednesday ended a nine-year state program that sought to expand the use of natural gas as an alternative to home heating oil. Several reasons were cited by the three Public Utilities Regulatory Authority commissioners who voted to pull the plug on the program: Gas prices are soaring, wiping out cost advantages over oil heat and policies favoring natural gas no longer advance the state’s climate and energy goals that now tilt to offshore wind. Marissa Gillett, chairwoman of PURA, said Eversource Energy and United Illuminating Co. may exercise their right to challenge the decision in court. She said 38,189 residents and businesses in its service territory have switched to natural gas since 2013. Overall, Eversource serves 249,000 natural gas customers in 74 communities in Connecticut.

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