Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) has made a formal request with the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to increase rates to pay for costs stemming from five major storms in the past two years, including Superstorm Sandy and the October 2011 Nor’easter. CL&P has stated that total losses from the five storms amount to $462.3 million, but is asking for less.
If approved, the rate increase will raise about $414 million in recovery costs over a period of six years. Roughly $175 of the total is attributed to the 2011 Nor’easter, and about $156 to the 2012 Superstorm Sandy. The remaining $83 million is attributed to 2011’s Tropical Storm Irene as well as two other major storms in 2011 and 2012.
CL&P claims that four of these storms are four of ten of the worst storms that the utility has seen in since its inception in 1917. In a press release, CL&P President and COO, Bill Herdegen, stated: “The damage from these natural disasters and the response to complete repairs was extraordinary and unlike anything in CL&P history… Typically, storms of this magnitude strike years or decades apart, but in 16 months, we experienced four of the company’s 10 most devastating storms.”
The costs include transporting and paying line and tree workers from other utilities that came in to assists CL&P, replacing damaged equipment, and staffing the continuous response effort. In some cases, entire sections of the electrical distribution system had to be completely rebuilt.
The average resident will likely see their electric bill increase about $3 per month beginning December 1, 2014. Because the rate increase is associated with the infrastructure and distribution of CL&P’s electricity services, all of the utility’s customers are subject to the charge, no matter if they’re receiving their electric supply from CL&P or a retail electricity provider.