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CL&P Customers Await Decision On Rate Hikes

WILTON, Conn. (CBSNewYork) -- State regulators are deciding whether to grant a rate-hike request by Connecticut Light & Power.

As WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported, hearings have been held throughout Connecticut, and customers who testified made it clear they believe CL&P is asking for rate increases on too many fronts.

State Sen. Toni Boucher, R-Wilton, said she's heard from plenty of her constituents.

CL&P Customers Await Decision On Rate Hikes

"There seems to be the unique consensus around the fact that this is asking for too much," Boucher said. "It's out of line."

Drawing the most criticism is the utility's plan to hike its monthly fixed charge -- what consumers pay before they use a single kilowatt of electricity -- from $16 to $25.50.

CL&P says the overall $232 million increase in funding would help shore up the system and provide better reliability during the storms ahead.

State Attorney General George Jepsen said the rate hike should be cut almost in half.

"Of the remaining 122 million, only about 20 million of that would be justified -- 20 or 30 million of it," he said.

A decision by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority on the increase will come by mid-December. The newer, likely higher rates would take effect soon after.

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