Blumenthal will look into electricity contracts

John O'Brien May 16, 2007, 4:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - Electricity energy sellers may have failed to deliver promised savings and stability to the municipalities that contracted them, Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Wednesday.

As a result, Blumenthal will begin an investigation into the contracts.

"I am deeply disturbed by allegations that independent power sellers may have misled municipalities seeking to stabilize or lower their electricity bills," Blumenthal said. "My office will investigate these contracts to determine whether there were any violations of law."

According to a report in the Hartford Courant, Baltimore-based Constellation NewEnergy is in the center of the controversy. The company is alleged to have promised to towns low rates that never came to fruition.

Electricity reform has been a hot issue with Blumenthal lately. Earlier this month, he urged the Department of Public Utility Control to wait before entering into any electricity capacity contracts until the General Assembly has had a chance to pass legislation that would reform the industry.

The DPUC will award $300 million in contracts. Blumenthal also would not sign a settlement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in January, claiming the extra charge it put on ratepayers broke the law and consumers' budgets.

"Connecticut needs comprehensive reform of its electricity system to reduce prices, restore stability and prevent abuse. As the session draws to a close, I urge the General Assembly to swiftly approve the House electricity reform bill, enabling Connecticut to regain control of its out-of-control power market," Blumenthal said.

"Lawmakers also should approve my longstanding proposals for a windfall profits refund returning excessive generator profits to consumers and a Connecticut Electricity Authority to plan and buy electricity, as well as own and finance selected power plants."

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