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United Illuminating Hopes To Raise Rates

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After two years of destructive storms, United Illuminating is asking the state if it can increase its rates, saying it needs the extra cash for general maintenance.

UI is seeking to bring in an additional $69 million in 2014 and another $26 million in 2015.

The power company has filed a rate request with Connecticut’s public utilities regulatory authority, and Thursday night it sought the public’s opinion on the proposal at a public hearing in Bridgeport.

A UI spokesperson said the average family would pay about $2 extra a month. But for commercial rates and industrial rates it could mean much more.

UI says the increase is necessary to continue delivering the same level of service to customers.

“There’s a number of pieces of infrastructure we need to replace in order to maintain the level of reliability our system has now,” said UI spokesman Michael West. “As to improve on the hardening of our system as a result of the storms and other activities.”

But not everyone agrees, including Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch.

“UI is once again asking the urban ratepayers and taxpayers to disproportionately shoulder the cost of these improvements,” he said. “It is simply unfair.”

UI says that, if approved, increased rates would not be felt by customers until July of 2014.

The last time UI increased its rates was 2008.


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