Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Pleased Governor, DPUC To Support His Complaint Demanding Return Of $85.8 Million Generators Received Without Providing Power

April 17, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said today he is pleased that Gov. M. Jodi Rell and the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) are joining his fight for refund of $85.8 million -- about $20 million to Connecticut consumers -- that generators collected without delivering power.

Blumenthal will file his complaint seeking a full refund with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Monday.

Blumenthal's complaint alleges generators gamed federal power rules to receive the payments without providing any power.

"I am pleased that the governor and the DPUC are joining my fight to win refunds for ratepayers forced to pay almost $86 million for nothing," Blumenthal said. "This swindle illustrates once again the colossal failure of market rules written by ISO-New England and approved by federal regulators, costing ratepayers almost $86 million. I will fight to find out the names of these high voltage hustlers who picked almost $86 million from consumer pockets.

"Our electricity system is badly broken, damaged and distorted by irrational federal rules that give generators money for nothing. Connecticut consumers forced to pay the highest rates in the continental United States expect and desperately need rate relief.

"I will fight for a full refund, as well as reforms to end this gaping loophole and other problems -- including a state power authority to buy power at cost and lower prices and a windfall profits refund to return ill-gotten gains to consumers."

The generators collected the money under a rule that pays them for guaranteed delivery of their electricity when needed. But every time the ISO asked for the power, the companies refused, keeping the payments minus a nominal fine. This happened 108 times between 2006 and 2009.