Attorney General Tong Responds to PURA Draft Decision Rejecting CT Water’s Requested $20 Million Rate Hike
(Hartford, CT) — Attorney General William Tong responded today to a draft decision by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority rejecting Connecticut Water’s $20 million rate hike request.
The requested rate hike would have increased water rates by 20 percent for over 360,000 customers across 60 towns. Instead, PURA’s draft decision orders a rate increase of 0.74 percent.
“Connecticut consumers have shouldered the burden of relentless rate increases over the past eight years. We pay way too much for utilities and I thank PURA for digging deep to find savings for Connecticut families and consumers who cannot absorb further increases to their cost of living,” Attorney General Tong said.
In a brief filed in May, Attorney General Tong noted multiple unnecessary and excessive costs that could be removed or reduced to entirely eliminate the need for any rate increase. The brief also noted that Connecticut Water Company is seeking an unjustifiable 10.4 percent return on equity for its shareholders-- higher than any other regulated utility statewide. PURA reduced that profit to 9 percent — in line with other regulated utilities — which will save ratepayers almost $6 million. Attorney General Tong’s brief 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 identified additional rate base, expense and revenue that would save ratepayers millions of dollars, among other suggestions.
Read the full brief here.
Assistant Attorneys General John Wright, Lauren Bidra, and Michael Wertheimer, Deputy Associate Attorney General & Chief of the Consumer Protection Section assisted the Attorney General in this matter.