Sen. Linares on WFSB: “Even if you’re conserving energy, you’re still getting a rate increase which isn’t fair.”

December 18, 2014

WFSB Article
WFSB 3 Connecticut
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -No matter how customers slice it, their utility bills are going up.

On Wednesday, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) had their final vote on Connecticut Light & Power’s proposed rate hike.

While a hike was approved, it was not nearly as high as an increase as CL&P originally proposed.

The ruling came after 13 hearings and three public comment sessions.

The hike will raise consumer cost by a total of $100 million, far less than the $232 million that CL&P wanted, but it is still a tremendous burden on many customers.

“It’s quite upsetting actually,” said Andrew Czeczot, of Hartford.

Many people can’t believe their utility bills are going to be even higher than before.

The monthly service charge, a fixed amount customers pay before they even turn their lights on, will now be $19.25 per month.

It used to be just $16, but the new amount is less than the $25.50 CL&P requested.

“We’ve already cut back. There’s not a whole lot we can cut back on unless we walk around in the dark,” said Kevin Winn of Hartford.

Overall, the average customer is expected to see an increase of about $7.12 per month.

People said they’re already struggling to make ends meet and don’t have the extra money, not to mention the bulk of winter is still ahead.

Not just residents are upset about the decision, but also a number of elected officials, who believe the hike is disappointing and unconscionable.

“Even if you’re doing the right thing, you’re conserving energy, you’re still getting a rate increase which isn’t fair,” said state Senator Art Linares.

CL&P’s fixed rate charge will now be the highest in New England.

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