Public Utility Accountability Rhode Islanders face some of the highest energy costs in the country. For local small businesses, high energy costs can stifle expansion and innovation. For hardworking families, high electric bills can stretch hard-earned dollars to the limit. The Billing Adjustment: Former Lt. Governor McKee intervened with the Public Utilities Commission to eliminate the “billing adjustment,” a fee charged to customers when they switched their electric supplier. Empower RI: The former Lt. Governor partnered with the Division of Public Utilities & Carriers to create Empower RI (www.ri.gov/EmpowerRI) which allows consumers to shop for the best electricity prices for their homes and businesses. The website has allowed Rhode Islanders to avoid sharp increases in National Grid's standard rate and save thousands of dollars, and I will continue working on this during my tenure. National Grid Tax Windfall Initiative: The former Lt. Governor led a multi-year effort to return millions of dollars in tax windfall to ratepayers to compensate for over-collections made by National Grid after Congress passed the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that reduced National Grid's federal corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. In total, the initiative provided nearly $33 million in rate relief for Rhode Islanders. New Rules for Third Party Electric Suppliers: Lt. Governor Matos, as her predecessor did, will propose consumer protection legislation to establish new rules for third-party electric companies which have cost some Rhode Islanders millions of dollars. The legislation prohibits third-party companies from automatically renewing customer contracts, requires written notification of contract expiration dates and provides customers with the option to cancel services online. Utility Customer Service Legislation: Lt. Governor Matos will continue to pursue legislation that requires public utilities to provide: Timely installations; status updates on project wait times and itemized bills and written estimates for any installation or construction. A violation would result in a $10,000 fine to the utility company.