New Haven To UI: Not One More Dime | New Haven Independent
by Markeshia Ricks, Sep 13, 2016 ©2016 New Haven Independent
New Haveners concerned about a proposed rate increase said that they want United Illuminating to have the infrastructure to withstand superstorms, but that they’ve already paid for it.
The electric company is asking the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to grant a more than $100 million distribution rate increase over a three year period. The increase would generate $65.6 million next year, $27.1 million the following year and another $13.4 million in 2019. This would raise individual customer bills by an average of about $30 a month over that three-year period, according to the Office of Consumer Counsel.
The counsel’s office opposes the rate increase. It also came out for reducing by almost $10, to $7.63, a residential fixed charge that UI levies.
UI said it needs the increase to replace poles and wires and make other investments to avoid power outages during major storms.
More than 35 residents from New Haven and other parts of the state attended a PURA hearing Monday in the Hall of Records at 200 Orange St. to oppose the rate increase. They said some people already can’t afford their bills. And they argued that the rate increase de-incentivizes energy-efficiency efforts.
Several people also argued that UI is primarily seeking to line the pockets of its new parent company, Spain-based Iberdrola.
Frank Panzarella said that stats already showed during the last rate increase request that Connecticut residents are having trouble paying their bills. He asked what made UI think that customers can afford to pay more. [….]
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