Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Applauds DPUC Final Decision Slashing CNG Rates 4.2 Percent

June 30, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today praised a Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) final decision affirming its rejection of a Connecticut Natural Gas (CNG) rate increase request and instead slashing the company's rates 4.2 percent.

In addition to reducing rates $16.2 million, the DPUC also cut the company's maximum allowable profit from 10.1 to 9.3 percent.

CNG initially sought a $16.4 million -- or 4.4 percent -- rate increase, and then diminished its request to $7.4 million. Blumenthal argued that the rate increase should be rejected and rates reduced because the company's own petition revealed that gas price costs plummeted lower than expected, and CNG had vastly overstated its costs for salaries, payroll, retirement and profit level.

"This decision is a significant victory, providing consumers real rate relief -- 4.2 percent decrease -- as they struggle to survive the deep economic downturn," Blumenthal said. "DPUC did the right thing, rejecting CNG's outrageous 4.4 percent rate hike request. CNG's rationale for a rate increase was fatally flawed, ignoring falling natural gas prices, while exaggerating salary, payroll, retirement and other costs. The DPUC's decision rightly requires the company to tighten its belt just as its customers must in the current recession.

"I will continue fighting for fair and reasonable utility rates that reflect true costs and take into account tough economic realities facing consumers."