United Illuminating asked regulators Monday if they could raise rates as much as 8% over the next three years. 

The new rates, if approved, would take effect after September 2023. 

A spokesman for the utility said UI’s last distribution rate case was in 2016 and UI’s customers’ distribution rates have not increased since January 1, 2019, and since this time inflation rates — the cost of doing business — has increased over 7%.

“Additionally, UI has and continues to make significant investments necessary to continue to provide safe and reliable service to its customers all while keeping rates stable,” he said.

The request prompted criticism from Attorney General William Tong and Consumer Counsel Claire Coleman.

“UI’s customers are already struggling with high costs from inflation and record-high electricity rates due to global energy market volatility. My office will be carefully examining the details of UI’s request and will offer the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) an alternative that prioritizes the welfare of Connecticut ratepayers,” Coleman said.

Tong said Connecticut families already pay too much for electricity. 

“A rate increase at this time will only make that worse,” Tong said. “My office will intervene on behalf of consumers, and we intend to aggressively scrutinize every charge and assumption in search of savings.”