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Blumenthal to Fight CL&P Rate Hike
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Connecticut Light & Power has requested a $210 million rate hike.  But the utility says if the request is granted it will delay collection of extra cash until the beginning of 2011.  WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

CL&P says it needs the rate hike in order to make necessary improvements to its distribution network.  If state regulators agree, the increase could take effect July 1st.  But the utility says it would wait an extra six months, and time the increase to coincide with an expected decrease of five percent in the distribution portion of customer’s bills.  That decrease is due to occur as bonds are paid off – the bonds were issued to pay for power generation costs incurred before electricity deregulation. 

The new proposed increase would mean no net change in customers’ bills.  Connecticut’s Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal has condemned the plan and says he’ll fight the rate hike.  He said the company must realize that the recession is far from over, and the utility must tighten its belt as its customers tighten theirs.  CL&P responds that it had already delayed asking for a rate hike in deference to economic conditions.  If this increase is granted, the utility could not ask for another rate change until mid 2012.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.