Blumenthal: Ratepayers have been 'swindled' by power companies

Chris Rizo Apr. 21, 2009, 3:34am

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline)-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says he is investigating possible antitrust violations by a group of power producers and the region's grid operator.

The Democratic attorney general said Monday he is probing the power generators and ISO New England following an admission to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that power generators collected nearly $85.8 million since 2006 for electricity they never delivered to ratepayers.

Blumenthal alleges that ISO New England, which serves six states, allowed unnamed power producers to "scam" consumers for years.

Power producers, the attorney general said, are exploiting a federal rule that pays them for supplying electricity when needed. He said the companies failed to deliver power when asked to do so 108 times between 2006 and 2009.

The attorney general is asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to compel the power companies to pay back ratepayers for the electricity they never received.

"These generators swindled rate payers out of nearly $86 million, and I will fight for a full refund," Blumenthal said in a statement. "I am today asking FERC to compel these unscrupulous power providers to return every penny to ratepayers."

Among other power producers, NRG Energy Inc., Entergy Corp. and Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. operate within Holyoke, Mass.-based ISO-NE.

The not-for-profit ISO serves Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

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