Attorney General Tong Calls on PURA to Reject $20 Million Rate Hike for Connecticut Water Company Consumers(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong today called on the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to reject an unwarranted and unreasonable $20 million rate increase for Connecticut Water Company customers. If approved, the request would increase rates by 20 percent for over 360,000 customers across 60 towns. In his brief filed Tuesday, Attorney General Tong notes multiple unnecessary and excessive costs that could be removed or reduced to entirely eliminate the need for any rate increase.
Attorney General Tong’s brief notes that Connecticut Water Company is seeking an unjustifiable 10.4 percent return on equity for its shareholders-- higher than any other regulated utility statewide. Reducing that profit to 7-8 percent—in line with other regulated utilities—would save ratepayers a minimum of $7 million. Attorney General Tong’s brief also opposed use of ratepayer funds for executive bonuses, lobbying costs, consultant fees, and other costs traditionally partially or fully covered by shareholder funds. The brief also urges changes to the utility’s capital cost structure and accounting analyses that would save ratepayers millions of dollars, among other suggestions.
“Connecticut’s utility ratepayers have endured relentless rate increases over the past eight years,” Attorney General Tong states in his brief. “Connecticut’s electricity prices alone are currently the highest in the continental United States. Moreover, Connecticut and the United States are enmeshed in the second profound and deep economic contraction in the past decade. Unemployment in the State remains well over 8 percent, higher than the national average. Connecticut consumers – especially those on fixed or limited incomes – are simply unable to absorb any further increases in their cost of living.”
Click here to read the full brief.
Assistant Attorneys General Lauren Bidra, John Wright, and Michael Wertheimer, Deputy Associate Attorney General & Chief of the Consumer Protection Section assisted the Attorney General in this matter.