CL&P Requests Rate Increase to Cover Storm Damage

Connecticut Light and Power is looking to raise rates. The power company is trying to recover more than $400 million they spent on major storms in the last two years.

"I live on an extremely tight budget. Their rates are extraordinarily high," said Starr Jasne. She moved to Danbury because of CL&P's reasonable rates.

Though she was without power for several days during Irene, things got better during Sandy for her.  As long as the company makes some changes Jasne says she'd "be willing to give them a reasonable sum to get the service."

The power company said that sum would be about three dollars more a month. Customers say they want CL&P to do work in advance--like taking down leaning trees before a storm hits.

"They want to wait until you don’t have power. Until have the neighborhood doesn’t have power and I don’t see the point to that," said Jasne.

"After experiencing all these frequent storms now and trees coming down, wires coming down, I think it’s worthwhile if they could trim back trees from the road," said Steve Sarthre of Woodbury.

CL&P asked the state to help their recovery from five major storms that hit the state during the last two years.

"I think any increase is not a good increase at this time," said Lia Bouso of New Milford

The storms cost CL&P more than $450 million. The company is looking to get back nearly 90% of that. Most of the damage was done by the October 2011 Nor'Easter and Superstorm Sandy.

"If it improves service and reliability of CL&P it would be worthwhile," said Sarthre.

The company's president says storms like this usually happen years apart but in 16 months they had to deal with devastating events.

"If we have to pay the extra amount we'll pay it," said Bouso. "They get support from us and they support us back."

If approved the rates won't go up until December of 2014.

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