Blumenthal: DPUC agrees to cuts

Ashley Stinnett Jul. 2, 2009, 4:54am

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline)- The Connecticut Department of Utility Control has agreed to reject a rate increase by Connecticut Natural Gas, state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said.

The move came after Blumenthal demanded CNG stop further rate increases. The company's internal probe revealed gas price costs were dropping at lower than expected rate.

Blumenthal argued the gas company had exaggerated its costs for payroll, salaries, profit and retirement level.

CNG will reduce its rate by $16.2 million, as well as, see a drop in allowable profits from 10.1 to 9.3 percent.

"This decision is a significant victory, providing consumers real rate relief -- 4.2 percent decrease -- as they struggle to survive the deep economic downturn," Blumenthal said.

He said the company's initial reason for a rate increase on consumers was fatally flawed and that the company must tighten its belt just as many consumers are doing during the national recession.

"I will continue fighting for fair and reasonable utility rates that reflect true costs and take into account tough economic realities facing consumers," he added.

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