Blumenthal again will fight rate increase requests

John O'Brien Dec. 5, 2008, 1:00pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal continued to oppose rate increases proposed by utility companies Thursday.

Blumenthal said he will fight against the rate hikes requested by Southern Connecticut Gas and Connecticut Natural Gas, two frequent recipients of criticism from the Democratic attorney general.

"I will fight any unfair or unreasonable rate increase requests, which could not come at a worse time for consumers struggling to make ends meet," Blumenthal said.

"Consumers facing job losses and the credit crunch simply cannot afford to pay more. Like their customers, natural gas companies must tighten their belts in tough times. Consumers need a break, not the burden of yet another ill-timed and ill-conceived rate increase."

SCG seeks a nearly $51 million rate increase that would increase the average homeowner heating bill $15 a month, Blumenthal said.

CNG seeks a $16.2 million increase that would increase the average homeowner heating bill about $5 a month, he added.

The Department of Public Utility Control recently rolled back CNG rates, for which Blumenthal fought, after that company collected over-earnings.

The DPUC authorized SCG to enjoy a 10 percent rate of return, but the company's July 15 earnings report revealed the company actually earned 13.66 percent for a year -- nearly $15 million in over earnings.

The company's rates were similarly decreased.

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