Blumenthal feeling powerless against power companies

John O'Brien Jul. 2, 2008, 1:40pm


HARTFORD, Conn (Legal Newsline) - A pair of utility rate increases has Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal fuming.

Connecticut Light & Power and The United Illuminating Co. both raised commercial and industrial power prices. They went into affect this week.

UI is charging commercial users 25 percent more and residential users 2 percent more. Blumenthal called it "devastating."

"I am deeply concerned about the impact on families struggling to make ends meet, and small businesses striving to survive and sustain jobs," Blumenthal said.

"I have long fought and warned about these steep rate increases and am exploring options for action now, although they may be limited."

Blumenthal has a long history of criticizing rate increase requests.
"These drastic rate spikes demonstrate again the urgent need to reform and restructure our electricity system -- so as to eliminate deregulation, stop repeated price rises, and take back control," he said.

"For more than two years, I have advocated a windfall profits refund and a state-run power authority to bring down and stabilize prices. I urge the legislature to act on these measures, easing the increasingly unbearable burden on consumers and businesses."

A report in the Connecticut Post says CL&P increased the bill for an average residential user's transmission charge by 3.7 percent, and commercial users will pay a much higher increase - 33.2 percent.

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