Fairfield legislators working to stop UI rate hike

State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) & Laura Devlin (R-134) along with State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) appeared in a show of unity at the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) public hearing in Bridgeport with all three legislators testifying against United Illuminating’s (UI) proposed electric rate hikes last week.

The three Fairfield legislators told PURA, the agency statutorily charged with regulating the rates and services of Connecticut’s investor owned electricity that the proposed UI rate hikes were excessive and should be denied.

UI is looking for the following electric rate increases:

  • 2017- $41 million
  • 2018- $48 million
  • 2019- $39 million

According to the proposal, UI services approximately 328,000 electric rate customers. The average Fairfield electric rate customer would see an increase per year of $112.00 in 2017, $114.00 in 2018 and $132.00 in 2019.

“This rate hike request comes during difficult fiscal times. I ask for consideration of the hardship this increase will undoubtedly have on ratepayers; an impact severely felt by seniors living on fixed incomes, lower income residents, as well as the burden on our already challenged business community,” said Rep. Kupchick, who is a member of the Energy and Technology committee. “Residents in my district and in neighboring communities have reached out to me countless times to share their frustration with Connecticut’s high cost of living. Every time we turn around, there’s an increase in fees, taxes or rates.”  

“What I have seen through its project to expand the Hawthorne substation in Fairfield is an excessive display of costs and willingness to spend on attorneys, experts, presentation materials, and staffing but when asked to fulfill the promises UI made to its abutting neighbors, they were told that cost was excessive and therefore promises were broken. UI needs to display greater accountability,” said Rep. Devlin. “The rate increase they are seeking is nothing but another tax on our already overburdened residents and businesses. UI claims to seek the increases to protect consumers – but they have shown their concern for consumers and willingness to keep promises will be traded based on cost.”

“Energy costs in Connecticut are the highest in the nation,” Sen. Hwang said. “These potential hikes are unacceptable and unaffordable. A 30% hike over three years will hurt our most vulnerable residents. We urge consumers to join us in urging state of Connecticut regulators to turn out the lights on these proposed hikes.”

The Fairfield state officials are asking anyone who wishes to submit testimony regarding the rate request proposal to PURA at 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051; via e-mail addressed to [email protected] or in person at all scheduled public hearings.  Include a reference to Docket No. 16-06-04 in any correspondence to PURA.

State Reps. Laura Devlin (R-134) and Brenda Kupchick (R-132) .

State Reps. Laura Devlin (R-134) and Brenda Kupchick (R-132) .

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