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United Illuminating Allowed to Consider Rate Increase
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State Senator Gayle Slossberg says United Illuminating customers cannot afford another hike in electricity rates. UI will be allowed to reopen its 2006 rate case, which could lead to higher costs for consumers.

Connecticut residents pay among the highest electricity rates in the nation. United Illuminating serves customers from Hamden to Fairfield. UI’s electricity rates were set in its 2006 rate case, and last year, customers saw a near doubling of their electricity bills. Now the state’s Department of Public Utility Control will allow UI to reopen its case. UI says the move is necessary because a lot has changed in the past few years. Spokesperson Anita Steeves

"The rates were decided upon under the assumption that we would have a 1% per year increase and we haven’t seen that. Also we’ve had more uncollectible amounts and our capital expenditures has also gone up."

Though reopening the rate case may not necessarily mean another increase, Steeves acknowledges that when gas and oil prices rise, electricity can follow.

"Its just unacceptable and unjustified for them to come back now and look for more dollars."

State Senator Gayle Slossberg says UI wants to increase its bottom line, even though the utility experienced growth last year and is expecting the same in 2008.

"They are certainly entitled to recover the costs and a reasonable return, but they’re making a reasonable return and people in our community can’t afford to be paying more for their electricity in order to make more profits for the corporate shareholders."

And Slossberg also says customers shouldn’t be punished for lowering their costs by conserving energy. UI officials will meet with board members later this month.