CL&P Seeks Power Bill Hike To Cover $400M In Storm Costs

  • Comments (17)
Hurricane Sandy caused more than 850,000 power outages in Connecticut.
Hurricane Sandy caused more than 850,000 power outages in Connecticut. Photo Credit: Fred Converse, File

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Sandy, Irene and the other storms that battered Connecticut with record power outages in 2011 and 2012 have cost Connecticut Light & Power more than $462 million — and now the utility is looking to its customers to help cover the costs

CL&P has asked the state's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to approve a rate increase the utility says will costs the typical customer about $3 more a month. The new rates would go into effect Dec. 1, 2014. 

“The damage from these natural disasters and the response to complete repairs was extraordinary and unlike anything in CL&P history,” said Bill Herdegen, CL&P president and chief operating officer. “Typically, storms of this magnitude strike years or decades apart, but in 16 months, we experienced four of the company’s ten most devastating storms."

Storms in order of expense: 

  • $175.06 million: Oct. 2011 Nor’easter, 1,438,797 power outages
  • $156 million: Superstorm Sandy, 856,184 poweroutages
  • $111 million: Hurricane Irene, 1,024,032 power outages
  • $10.9 million: June 2011 storm, 209,045 power outages. 
  • $9.19 million: Sept. 2012 storm, 80,575 power outages.
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Comments (17)

Yeah, well CL&P should have been investing in power line upgrading for the past 60 years. The whole system and grid is so antiquated, really it's a joke. They've barely gotten past the colored glass conductors. Half the poles and wires in more rural areas (and some urban areas) are leaning over, errant wires just hanging loose. Problem is, it's all about profits, the almighty dollar. Why improve the technology if it takes away from the huge profits? Especially when they are not required to do as such. This simply is a monopoly that makes the millionaire power executives richer and the shareholders fatter, and they are all riding on the backs of the poor common folk who have been enslaved and forced into dependency.

Of course they will get their rate increase. I does not cost much to buy a few politicians.

What I want to know is? who at cl&p thought this up? He or she is clearly dilusional!! What other business in the WORLD is able to punish its customers with price increases because of profits real or imagined do not meet the profitability that is forecast. NONE!! Only a utility company could or would expect US the consumer to pay for their folley, any reasonable responsible person in business should have insurace coverage for "loss of business"
And I offer this IF this somehow gets passed along to us, I think its time for some smart lawer to start a class action lawsuit to recover all the money we all lost!!!

When your power is out, the meter stops and you are not billed for energy while the power is out. Their numbers crunchers have figured out it is cheaper to outsource tree trimming and repairs than to maintain a big enough crew of their own lineman. The money they save, they pay out to high level execs and stockholders. $462 million is chumpchange to them. but sounds like an opportunity to apply for another rate increase. Their financial reports are available online and they are far from hurting. They will happily spend big money lobbying for rate increases and find ways to keep public opposition from being heard at any public hearings. They have dozens of people sign up to speak for them and any public opposition will not get a chance to be heard. Somehow, their lobbyists always manage to get access to the signup-to-speak lists before they are available to the public. They just posted dividends for stock holders of 50 to 80 cents a share.
If a builder wants a new service, CL&P insists on underground lines from their pole to the building, they are well aware how many outages that prevents.
The increase they are asking for, for 1.7 million customers, will raise each bill about $3/month or $36 X 1.7 million a year, way more than they claim the storms cost them.

With all money they have spent they should have put the power lines underground.

If we give them their $400 million rate hike, we should also give them an $800 million penalty for lousy storm response.

Most of the poor response in Norwalk was due to the administration not being prepared. Hopefully this will all change come Nov.

The administration was superb on all accounts for all storms that we experienced ... the NORWALK administration, that is.

Next election, we WILL be voting out Malloy, just like dillusional lefty liberal said!!!!

And how much would it cost to buy the power lines?

This is what you get when you outsource a natural monopoly.

Oh boo hoo. CL&P's Bill Herdegen is afraid storm costs will eat into his six-figure bonus (on top of his already exhorbitant salary) and so he wants the state PURA to allow him to further fleece the people who are already struggling to make ends meet. I hope the state regulators not only turn him down but rip him a new one in the process.
I have long advocated burying the power lines in areas where the utilities are at greatest risk and have always been told it would be too cost-prohibitive. Really? More costly than ferrying in utility crews from Quebec, California, Kansas City and other places to help clean up every time Mother Nature throws a hissy fit in our direction?

We can only hope and pray the public utility advocates listen to the consumer for once and stop bending over for these greedy CEOs.

I have maintained this same argument for a long time and absolutely agree with you. Take it zone by zone, but bury these lines already. What IS costing CL&P so much is exactly what you are stating: importing crews from all over the United States and Canada every time this aging infrastructure fails at the slightest wind.

They need to examine the places, including Europe, that have made burying their lines part of the process of having any electrical utilities at all. What we have looks and is primitive and will continue to be problematic at the slightest wind.

I also object to this being an essentially privatized service with exorbitant salaries and shareholders. It is just like medicine in this respect: when you monetize for profit, a service that should be available to all becomes cost prohibitive because profits are more important than people. It just should not be so with medical care and it should not be so with electricity.

Yup, don't you know it!

Nicely said.

I think that amount is bogus to begin with; CL&P doesn't do tree clean-up or fix the roofs so it should be asking for at-least half that estimate. The money has to go in each category not just CL&P seeking millions. Families trying to seek relief, not payments to those greedy folks. Do they even credit people whom lost power for a week? The people pay enough to them as they always have the money to mail bills way way in advance; they keep on that then is no reason to hike anything. Build the tolls; they can get a dip into that. The lower class is poor enough and the middle class already has multiple jobs for there family's don't have it. Shame on you CL&P for not aiding in the economies growth. Just eliminate the electric assistance; there they have the stash they need. Won't help them for the future; they get a hike in the works; than watch how they will lay off people before the next winter and still will have financial woes doesn't mean take from the customers.