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Eversource asks for rate increase to recoup costs from storm damage

BERLIN -- Connecticut’s largest electric utility has asked the state for permission to increase rates, charging customers for the millions it has spent to repair recent storm damage.

Five major storms over the past two years, including the back-to-back March Nor’Easters, the May tornadoes and macroburst and an October 2017 windstorm, have caused Eversource to spend more than $150 million.

“In some cases, we had to rebuild entire portions of the grid,” said Mitch Gross, spokesperson for Eversource. “That unfortunately costs a lot of money and involves a lot of people.”

If approved, the average customer’s bill would increase by about $1.85 per month over the next six years.

Gross said it is possible that these are the costs of climate change.

“These storms have been picking up in intensity,” said Gross. “They are causing a great deal of damage.”

“That seems reasonable,” said Erin Mutty, an Eversource customer living in Cheshire. “We do tend to have these crazy windstorms. It does seem like things are different from when I was growing up.”

But, on a Fox 61 Facebook post, customers were less understanding.

“We pay enough as it is!” wrote one commenter, Sharon Gnatowski. “Enough is enough!”

Another, Tommy Blardo, wrote: “Moving out of CT soon.”

Gross said it is the cost of doing business.

“Nothing wrong with that,” said Carl Maratta, an Eversource customer of Wethersfield.

But James Navarro, a Rocky Hill Eversource customer, said he disagrees with the possible hike in changes.

“I think a lot of people are going solar because of it,” said Navarro.

If approved, the bill increases could begin as early as May.

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