Utilities, States Sparring Over Irene's Costs

State regulators are under pressure to limit reimbursements to utilities that submitted requests for rate increases totaling tens of millions of dollars

Sunday, Aug 26, 2012  |  Updated 9:01 AM EDT
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Utilities, States Sparring Over Irene's Costs

AP

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A year after Hurricane Irene knocked out power to millions across the Northeast, utilities and regulators are still sparring over how to divide repair and restoration costs between ratepayers and utilities.

With memories of spoiled food, cold showers and meals in the dark still fresh in customers' minds, state regulators are under pressure to limit reimbursements to utilities that submitted requests for rate increases totaling tens of millions of dollars.

Nowhere has the conflict been more emotional than in Connecticut. More than 800,000 customers of Connecticut Light & Power, the state's largest utility, lost power in each of two storms, first with Irene and two months later with a freak October snow storm.

Regulators have warned the utility that a rate increase request could be reduced unless improvements are made in how the utility responds to storms.

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