Commissioners at the Department of Public Utility Control have a full dance card this week as hearings on a $210 million rate increase request by Connecticut Light & Power begin in earnest.
The hearings kicked off today and will continue every day for the remainder of the week, said Phil Dukes, a DPUC spokesman. The agency also has plans for hearings at six locations around the state between now and May 21 when a draft decision is expected on the case, Dukes said.
The proposed rate increase would take effect July 1, but the utility would not begin collecting it until the start of 2011. Deferring the collection of the proposed rate increase is designed to coincide with an expected 5 percent decrease in customers’ bills as bonds associated with electric deregulation are paid off.
CL&P officials have said the Berlin, Conn.-based utility had originally intended to file a rate case in 2008, but put it off because of economic conditions in the state. But the company says it has to ask for the rate hike now because it needs the money make upgrades to CL&P’s aging distribution network.
Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is opposed to the rate hike, which he says will deprive consumers from reaping the benefits of a decrease in their electric bills during a tough economy.