Most Connecticut Light & Power customers’ will see a decrease in portions their electric bills in January after the Department of Public Utility Control nixed roughly half of the company’s proposed rate increase in a draft decision released Monday.
The company’s overall request for a 27.5 percent distribution rate increase will be reduced to 13.9 percent.
Under ordinary circumstances the draft decision would allow for an average 2.8 percent increase on the average customers’ bill, however, the General Assembly decided to take a portion of the Competitive Transition Assessment charge and used it to balance the state budget.
The “Department estimates the net effect on customer bills will show no increase and, in fact, will likely result in some level of decrease in the total rate a customer pays,” Phil Dukes DPUC spokesman said. “The lack of impact on customer bills is maintained even with the inclusion of the new charge added by the General Assembly.”
The DPUC said in its draft decision that they sought to strike a balance between the needs of the utility company and consumers.
“We are all in the current domestic economic environment together – no single entity is an island. Thus, the Department had to strike a delicate balance in considering all the relevant public interests and needs in this case,” the decision says.
“We appreciate the difficult task the DPUC faced in striking a balance between our need for additional revenue to maintain Connecticut’s electric infrastructure and today’s tough economic realities,” Mitch Gross, CL&P spokesman, said. “We presented a compelling, solid case to demonstrate that the requested increase is necessary to continue to build, maintain and operate a safe and reliable electric distribution system for our customers today and for future generations.”
The company plans on submitting further written and oral arguments to reinforce its position.
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal commended the DPUC for its decision.
“I will fight to reduce the increase to zero—sparing stretched and struggling consumers and businesses. Connecticut already has the highest power prices in the continental United States and simply cannot pay more,” Blumenthal said.
A final decision is expected at the end of June.