Power Bills Pay UI's Bill

Your electric bill could help pay for a new facility for United Illuminating according to New Haven Mayor John Destefano.

The company is planning a move from New Haven to Orange. Opponents say customers can't afford another hike.

“Times are tough right and people don’t want to see their bill go up every week,” says Vallorie Clark of Bridgeport.

Dozens of people protested the move outside of UI’s offices on Church Street.

The company wants to build a new facility for its administrative arm on 18 acres of land in Orange. Mayor Destefano and Attorney General Richard Blumenthal say the company’s customers will foot the bill.

“It’s not really in the public interest and so we are concerned about the wasting of consumer dollars with this move,” says Frank Panzarella of New Haven.

Destefano says UI will not share its financial plan for the move, so he came up with his own. According to his math, if the company stays in New Haven it would not incur mortgage, land lease or maintenance expenses. By moving, it would spend up to 5 million dollars in the first year and close to 40 million dollars over the next 20 years.

“40 million dollars that could’ve been used to keep rates down or 40 million dollars that could’ve been used to improve the transmission grid,” says Mayor Destefano. 

According to Blumenthal the move could also lead to job loss. Employees who currently commute to the New Haven offices would have to find another job if it moves to Orange.

A spokesperson for UI says the company cannot comment because it’s selling shares of its stock to the public. He says he doesn’t know when they’ll be able to respond.

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