Aug 28, 2014
08:09 AM
Connecticut Today

CL&P’s Proposed 59 Percent Fee Increase Slammed in Connecticut Hearing

CL&P’s Proposed 59 Percent Fee Increase Slammed in Connecticut Hearing

CL&P's service map from its website.

NEW BRITAIN—Politicians and ratepayers alike blasted a proposed rate increase by Connecticut Light & Power during a hearing Wednesday night before the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

The Berlin-based electric utility announced in July that it was asking PURA to allow a service charge CL&P customers pay to increase from $16 a month to $25.50 per month. In addition, the utility is looking to increase its rate of return from 9.4 to 10.2 cents per dollar.

CL&P officials have said the rate hike is needed to pay for upgrades to the electric utility’s distribution network.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., drew upon his experience as the state attorney general in framing his objections to the proposed rate increase.

“I have appeared here many times,” Blumenthal told PURA’s three commissioners. “I have never seen a proposed rate increase that is more unfair and unconscionable. Our state can’t afford it; the people of our state deserve better.”

Those objecting to the rate increase included five CL&P employees.

“It seems to me that the number one priority is the stock price.” Brian Coggshall, a CL&P employee from Rocky Hill, said, referring to CL&P’s corporate parent, Northeast Utilities. “Things have been going downhill fast since the merger.”

Another CL&P employee said NU should have invested more in infrastructure over the years.

“When are we going to stop blaming storms for damaging antiquated infrastructure?” said Steven Blair of Enfield.

Some of those who spoke were senior citizens who said CL&P’s rates already are high enough without the proposed increase.

“We are going to lose our homes if this goes through,” said Kathleen Harris, a retiree from Cheshire.

See the full story at the New Haven Register.

 

CL&P’s Proposed 59 Percent Fee Increase Slammed in Connecticut Hearing

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