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Opponents of CL&P rate hike to meet on Monday

By Kaitlyn Naples & Erin Connolly |

As the temperatures continue to go down, utility bills will only go up and now they may rise even more.

Connecticut Light and Power has proposed rate hikes, which have many people outraged, and one of the increases can’t be avoided by using less electricity.

On Monday, a number of labor, religious and environmental groups will be gathering to oppose the fixed monthly service fee.

They plan to discuss the negative impacts, as well as potential legislative action.

“I think the electric prices are too high already,” said Steve Sztaba of Wethersfield.

The company wants to raise the Standard Service Rate from about $0.10 per kilowatt hour to nearly $0.13. An average monthly bill would rise from about $70 to $87.

“I think it’s awful. I think big business is getting richer, richer, and richer and we are just putting out more, and more and more,” said Kim Sevigny of East Hampton.

CL&P is also looking to raise the fixed monthly service fee, which means customers will pay more before they even turn on their lights.

Right now that fee is $16 but CL&P wants to raise it by 60 percent to $25.50.

The average family would pay about $114 more per year.

“You don’t want to do things that are going to hurt people and have them living on the streets because they can’t pay their bills,” said Imogene Ellison of East Hartford.

It has been standing room only at public meetings with PURA, in front of the state board regulating the utilities.

In a statement, CL&P said in part that “There are significant costs associated with running a large and complex electric system like ours. Over time, we need to make significant investments to provide our customers with a strong, reliable system.”

“I am overwhelmed with medical bills. They want more money…well, I would to. So would I,” Sevigny said.

If approved by state regulators, the proposed increase would take effect in January.

The meeting among opponents will take place on Monday at 7 p.m. at the Machinists Union Hall.

Read more: http://www.wfsb.com/story/27400196/opponents-of-clp-rate-hike-to-meet-on-monday#ixzz3JLgY1ic1