Power meters may be erratic, Blumenthal says

John O'Brien Aug. 15, 2007, 2:43pm


HARTFORD, Conn. - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday remained active in the electricity business, calling for an investigation of Connecticut Light and Power while promising to get other attorneys general involved.

Blumenthal says his office has received numerous complaints alleging the power company's meters are inaccurate. He asked the Department of Public Utility Control to look deeper.

"We are asking DPUC to join in an investigation of a significant number of complaints about unexplained and erratic meter usage spikes and billing disparities," he said.

Also, consumers have been telling Blumenthal that CL&P is not taking the complaints seriously.

"There is evidence that CL&P has stonewalled or failed to respond adequately," he said. "These complaints to my office deserve immediate response individually and as a potential general failing in their equipment.

"I am also reaching out to other attorneys general to determine the scale and scope of possible nationwide problems."

In June, the state's Legislature voted down Blumenthal's bill that would have taxed power plants and provided a refund to ratepayers. In May, he had urged the delay of any electricity contracts reached with the state until the Legislature had a chance to vote on reforms.

In May, he began investigating electricity contracts reached with several municipalities after allegations surfaced Constellation NewEnergy misled its customers.

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.

With regard to the CL&P matter, Blumenthal added that some consumer's power bills increased dramatically for a couple of months before returning to normal without explanation.

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