CL&P seeks to raise rates

Citing a dramatic increase in the price of electricity Connecticut Light and Power buys on behalf of customers, Connecticut Light & Power on Monday, Nov. 10, filed for an increase in its standard service rate that would become effective on Jan. 1. The rate would jump from the current average of 996 cents per kilowatt-hour to 12.45 cents.

This supply price is separate from CL&P’s delivery rates, which the utility is also seeking to raise by more than 20%. Any increase to the standard service rate must be approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

CL&P says the increase is needed because of “widely publicized constraints in the existing pipelines that bring natural gas to regional generating companies.”

“We’re always mindful of the effect these supplier increases have on our customers, particularly those who are facing difficult financial circumstances,” said Penni Conner, senior vice president and chief customer officer at Northeast Utilities, CL&P’s parent company. “We’re urging all CL&P customers to take advantage of our efficiency programs to help reduce their usage, tighten up their homes and keep energy bills down this winter.”

As a regulated delivery company in Connecticut, CL&P purchases electricity from suppliers and passes the cost, with no profit added, directly to customers who are on the company’s standard service supply option. By law, the standard service price for residential and small commercial customers changes twice a year, on Jan. 1 and July 1. Customers who purchase their electricity through aggregate buyers or directly from suppliers would contact those companies for information about any anticipated increases in their rates.

More than half of New England’s electricity is now produced using natural gas, the company said, and regional pipeline limitations combined with the growing demand are pushing prices higher.

“While these constraints will continue to affect electricity customers in the near-term, Northeast Utilities is committed to pursuing strategic projects to help solve these challenges,” a press release said. “To that end, NU and Spectra Energy recently proposed the Access Northeast project to expand the region’s natural gas capacity using existing pipeline routes, with an anticipated in-service date of November 2018. In addition, NU’s proposed Northern Pass Project will bring clean and low-cost energy from Hydro-Quebec’s world-class hydroelectric plants to New Hampshire and New England.”

CL&P urged customers to do their part to lower usage including turning down the thermostat; caulking drafty doors and windows; making sure heating vents aren’t blocked; and switching to energy-efficient light bulbs.

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