Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Fights CL&P Effort To Block Rate Decrease

April 26, 2010

          Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, in a brief filed today, urged the Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) to reject Connecticut Light & Power’s (CL&P) proposal to increase rates by $210 million, effectively eliminating an expected 5 percent rate decrease early next year.

CL&P rates are expected to fall about 5 percent early next year when certain bonds are paid off. The company, however, is seeking to wipe out the decrease by replacing it with a proposed $210 million rate hike at the same time.

Blumenthal said the DPUC should reject the rate increase and instead reduce rates by as much as $330 million over the next year. Even with this rate reduction, Blumenthal said the company still has the means to increase its proposed spending levels for necessary reliability projects, which he supports.

“CL&P is trying to deprive 1.2 million customers -- many of them small struggling businesses -- of a long-overdue rate decrease when ratepayer bonds are finally paid off,” Blumenthal said. “When small businesses, our state’s most critical employment engine, are trying to dig out of debt, CL&P is throwing dirt back into the hole.

“CL&P has the means to continue operating at current staffing -- and even increase spending on reliability projects -- without this $210 million rate increase. This company can afford to maintain employees, profits and reliability projects -- but customers simply cannot afford a rate increase at this time. The DPUC should set CL&P’s rates at levels absolutely no more than sufficient to provide safe and reliable service -- and the opportunity to earn a reasonable return.”