The General Assembly finds and declares that:

(1) The provision of affordable, safe and reliable electricity is key to the continuing growth of this state and to the health, safety and general welfare of its residents;

(2) Rates for electricity in this state and in the region are higher than the national average;

(3) Changes in generating technology now enable the provision of electric service at much lower rates than are currently being charged in Connecticut and competitive market forces can play a role in the reduction of Connecticut rates;

(4) It is in the best interest of the state to reduce rates for electricity to all customer classes, to prevent cross subsidization among customer classes and to allow for the competitive generation of electricity while retaining a regulated distribution system to ensure reliability;

(5) A competitive generation market should allow customers to choose among alternative generation services and allow customers a reasonable and fair opportunity to self-generate and interconnect;

(6) Those public policy measures under current law, including, but not limited to, those protecting customers under the winter moratorium and hardship provisions as well as conservation measures and incentives for using renewable energy sources, should be preserved;

(7) State regulations should encourage and allow for a sufficient number of in-state generating facilities to ensure an adequate and reliable power supply within the state and ensure development of a truly competitive generation market;

(8) The assurance of safe, reliable and available electric service to all customers in a uniform and equitable manner is an essential governmental objective and a restructured electric market must provide adequate safeguards to assure universal service and customer service protections;

(9) The generation of electricity must be achieved in a manner that does not endanger the public health or safety and that minimizes negative environmental impacts;

(10) The restructuring of the electric industry may result in a reduction in staffing levels at Connecticut generation facilities and those workers adversely affected by such restructuring should be protected;

(11) The current method of providing electric service has involved a balancing of costs, risks and rewards for electric utilities and their customers, and therefore the transition to a competitive generation market, including the determination of stranded costs, should be based on the principles of fairness and reasonableness and the result of a balance of the interests of electric customers, electric utilities and the public at large; and

(12) It is in the best interest of the state for all customers to use electricity as efficiently as possible.