State regulators reject United Illuminating's $130 million rate increase request, call proposed raises 'unjustified'
State regulators have rejected a request by United Illuminating to raise rates. The power company had sought to raise rates by a total of $131 million over the next three years. Instead, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a draft decision allowing for a rate increase of just over $2 million next year.
The company says it hasn’t raised distribution prices since 2016 and needs the money to invest it back in its infrastructure. However, the state says the company didn't really prove it in its application, calling the plans "incomplete and poorly developed," and the proposed raises "unjustified."
State regulators cited a failure on UI to clean up the contaminated site of the now closed English Station power plant in New Haven. Other state agencies, like the Office of the Consumer Council also didn't like the three-year part of the plan, recommending "merit-based" year-to-year rates instead. They say it would put some needed pressure on UI to fix what they call "performance deficiencies."
In a statement, Attorney General William Tong said, "This strong decision sends a clear message to Connecticut's regulated utilities - failure to meet basic obligations to ratepayers will not be rewarded."
Attorney General Tong says he hopes this wakes UI up, ripping the company for not meeting its responsibilities and agreeing that the company hadn't proved the full rate hike was needed.
It's unclear how much the decision will impact customer's bills when the new rate takes effect Sept. 1.