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Connecticut lawmakers oppose 8% United Illuminating rate hike over three years

UI Hamden.png
United Illuminating
Utility trucks positioned along Main St. in Hamden while crews repair overhead electrical wires after trees fell on the wires.

Some Connecticut lawmakers are opposed to an 8% rate hike over the next three years requested by United Illuminating, the state’s second largest electric utility.

Republican State Senator Tony Hwang of Fairfield is one of them. He’s optimistic that ratepayer pressure could get the state’s Public Utility Regulatory Authority to reject the UI rate hike, just as it did a 27% increase requested last year by the water utility Aquarion.

“PURA rejected completely that 27% increase by Aquarion, which is a division of Eversource. And they said we are going to lower your rates. Can you imagine that?” Hwang said.

Hwang added that Connecticut families cannot afford another electricity rate increase while utility shareholders and company executives are enjoying record profits.

Hwang is hosting an informational forum from 6 p.m - 8 p.m. at the Fairfield Board of Education to rally public support against the move.

“What we are offering in a forum is to educate people that they do have a voice," Hwang said. "And that they can make a difference in regards to these rate increases and say that they are unaffordable, unsustainable and unreasonable."

UI officials say the company understands the impact of rising costs on households but this is its first request for a rate increase since 2016, and it’s below the rate of inflation.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.