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Connecticut attorney general wants Aquarion’s proposed double-digit rate hike rejected

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
Office of Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
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Connecticut Attorney General William Tong urged regulators to reject a request by Aquarion Water Company to raise its rates by 27% over three years.

Tong told the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority that the request places a burden on customers that would allow the company $1.4 million in bonus pay and incentivize the acquisition of smaller water systems.

The company said municipal property taxes have increased, and it needs to reimburse itself for $740 million in infrastructure projects since 2013 — the last time there was a rate increase.

Actually, this is the first time Aquarion has asked PURA for a rate increase since it was acquired by the region’s largest power company, Eversource, in 2017. But the company did raise its standard service rates for customers twice last year.

“The company has failed to meet its burden of showing that such a large rate increase is necessary or appropriate. To the contrary, the evidence in this proceeding clearly shows that Aquarion’s proposed rate increase is excessive and unwarranted,” Tong said in the filing. “Connecticut consumers — especially those on fixed or limited incomes — are simply unable to absorb any further increases in their cost of living.”

Aquarion serves Massachusetts, New Hampshire and mainly Litchfield and Fairfield counties in Connecticut.

A native Long Islander, J.D. is WSHU's managing editor. He also hosts the climate podcast Higher Ground. J.D. reports for public radio stations across the Northeast, is a journalism educator and proud SPJ member.