Proposed Connecticut utility rate increases draw a fight

Hartford  (AP) — A fight is brewing over a request by Connecticut's largest utility to raise rates by $232 million to upgrade equipment following destructive storms.

Customers will pay an average $150 more a year, up about 6 percent, if regulators side with Connecticut Light & Power.

Consumer advocates say monthly charges would rise regardless of how much electricity is used, which they say would threaten efforts to conserve electricity.

CL&P, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, says about $117 million would pay for new and stronger poles, wires, transformers and substation upgrades.

Another $89.5 million is to repair damage from storms in 2011 and 2012 and $25.3 million is to protect equipment from future storms.

The first of three public hearings is scheduled for Wednesday. A draft decision is expected in December.

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What do you think about the proposed Connecticut Light & Power rate hike - customers would pay an average of $150 more per year - that would go toward paying for equipment repairs and upgrades to protect equipment from future destructive storms.

It is worth the extra cost if it will make our power more reliable during big storms.

12%

It is not fair, especially for those that rely on electricity to heat their homes.

8%

That would be too much of a burden and we've seen rate hikes in the past with no discernible improvement in service.

80%

Number of votes: 1662