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Local lawmaker calls for 2012 utility accountability bill to be resurrected

A local lawmaker is calling for a bill approved in the state House in 2012, but never called before the Senate, to be resurrected in order to hold utility companies accountable.  Bethel Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan says House Bill 5542 would have provided protections to ratepayers. 

The measure would mandate the disclosure of salaries of certain executives of public utility holding companies, limit the ratepayer funds used to compensate such executives, credit certain utility customers for food losses during prolonged service outages and require certain utility companies to waive late fees and credit customers during prolonged service outages. 

In testimony submitted on the bill, PURA said that it included a provision allowing the cost of the food reimbursement program to be funded by adding to the System Benefit Charge borne by all ratepayers. 

Then-Connecticut Light & Power also submitted testimony, saying the salary disclosure section was not needed because the companies are already file the information with PURA.  At the time, CL&P also said that the reimbursement should only apply if the loss is from service interruptions resulting from the utility's gross negligence or willful misconduct.  CL&P also said in 2012 testimony that while they appreciate the provision allowing for reimbursement would have a means test, the company believed that there should be clear standards to prevent potential fraud. 

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Todd Schnitt

Local Headlines