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Connecticut consumers could see higher electricity rates in the wake of a major October snowstorm that led to extended power outages across the state, according to The Boston Globe.
Because of the unusually warm fall, many trees still had most or all of their leaves, leaving the trees unable to support the weight of the branches once they were covered in snow. The extensive damage to the power lines could cost utility companies as much as $100 million in total.
Already, some of these utilities have considered offering residents who suffered extended outages credits, up to as much as $50 per person.
However, while utilities have so far proven apologetic, the Globe notes that the storm and the subsequent cleanup could actually qualify for reimbursement from the state, in the form of higher electricity rates.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has veto power over any such increases, but it is unclear what the agency's stance would be. However, the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection notes that residents have a way they could overcome these right hikes.
Connecticut residents have the option to switch electricity providers, which can lower electricity prices independently of the costs imposed by utilities. The CDEE reports that 42 percent of all Connecticut customers have already switched.