CL&P proposes 5.9% base rate increase

On Friday, May 9, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) announced that it will be filing for a 5.9% increase in the rates it charges for delivering electricity to customers.

According to CL&P's May 9 press release, if approved, the bill would have to undergo a comprehensive review by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) before taking effect on Dec. 1.

"The average CL&P residential customer using 700 kilowatt hours (kWh) a month would see an increase of approximately $6.76 a month," according to the press release.

CL&P stated the proposed base rate increase is driven "primarily by expenditures to replace aging infrastructure and strengthen the system."

This is the first time in four years that CL&P has filed for a distribution rate increase, according to the press release.

"Last year, we had our best reliability year in over a decade, thanks to changes we've made on the system," said CL&P President Bill Herdegen.

Mr. Herdegen said CL&P's targeted investments are helping to build a more reliable, resilient and efficient electric grid.

"We have worked hard to hold the line on rising operating costs, which has resulted in overall savings for our customers," Mr. Herdegen added.

CL&P's continued capital investment in electric infrastructure to improve reliability and service to customers is a significant driver of the approximately $117 million operating deficiency, according to the press release.

According to CL&P's press release, the company's investments "benefit customers by improving public safety, system reliability and overall service quality." These investments include:

  • New and stronger poles.
  • Wires transformers.
  • Substation upgrades.

CL&P states that in 2013, its system performed at its highest level since 2000, resulting in "fewer and shorter power outages."

According to the press release, "CL&P's current delivery charges are based on cost projections from the 2010 rate case."

Since then, the cost of equipment and materials has increased, as well as "property taxes and other costs incurred to upgrade and replace aging infrastructure," according to CL&P.

According to CL&P's press release, between July 1, 2012 and the end of 2015, "CL&P will invest more than $726 million to install and improve electric distribution facilities serving the 149 cities and towns within its service territory."