Jepsen disagrees with company's stance

Keith Loria Feb. 9, 2011, 3:00am


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced on Tuesday that he believes a proposal by Connecticut Light & Power Co. to replace electric meters with more advanced technology is not worth the expense.

In a brief he sent to the Department of Public Utility Control, Jepsen explained that the switch would not save enough electricity for its 1.2 million customers to justify the expense.

"CL&P's proposal would force the company's ratepayers to spend at least $500 million on new meters that are likely to provide few benefits in return," Jepsen said.

CL&P's wants to replace all existing meters with "advanced meter infrastructure."

The company also asked regulators to guarantee that it would be allowed to recover its full cost of installation before the department evaluates what the costs actually were and whether those costs were reasonable.

Jepsen urged the DPUC to continue evaluating emerging meter system technologies as well as other conservation programs until a change is cost effective to all involved.

State regulators previously approved a limited study of 10,000 meters utilizing the advanced technology. Those involved in the study had their meters changed over and measured between June 1 and Aug. 31, 2009.

CL&P tested the meters on 1,251 residential and 1,186 small commercial and industrial customers who were paid for their participation in the study.

In February 2010, the DPUC was given the results of the study.

"The pilot results showed no beneficial impact on total energy usage," Jepsen said. "And, the savings that were seen in the pilot were limited to certain types of customers and would be far outweighed by the cost of installing the new meter systems."

The meters that are currently in use were first installed between 1994 and 2005. The meters normally have a useful life of 20 years. Jepsen said that the cost of replacing them early would add a non-necessary cost to electric customers.

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