utilities

Ahead of the Storm
8:55 am
Mon January 26, 2015

CL&P to Customers: Prepare to Lose Power

Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Emails and calls are some of the ways Connecticut Light and Power has begun reaching out to its customers ahead of the expected massive snowstorm, mindful of criticism over lengthy outages during past storms. 

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Energy
2:45 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Regional Power Operator Provides Brief on State of Grid

ISO-New England's control room.
ISO-New England

New England's electricity grid operator said natural gas pipeline bottlenecks and retirement of aging power plants could put pressure on the price of energy.

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Unlimited Power
4:20 pm
Tue January 13, 2015

For PURA, Questions Abound About How to Set Rates Right

Guido Gerding Wikimedia Commons

Back in 2011, a few things changed for PURA, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Its staff was cut, and it developed a closer relationship with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Some of PURA's budget and its hiring authority shifted over to DEEP, and the move changed the way the board does its main job: reviewing the performance of power companies.

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Regulating the Utilities
4:23 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

Gov. Malloy Rejects Utility Regulators' Concerns Over Independence

Arthur House, chairman of Connecticut utility regulator PURA, during a meeting broadcast by CT-N last year.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy has sharply rebuked his own utility regulators in a dispute over how the agency should be governed.

The commissioners of the Public Utility Regulatory Authority, headed by chairman Arthur House, wrote to Malloy at the end of last month expressing deep dissatisfaction with the decision four years ago to bring PURA under the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

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Electric Rates
4:49 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Sen. Richard Blumenthal Wants Feds to Review CL&P Rate Hike

Sen. Richard Blumenthal in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Sen. Richard Blumenthal is calling for a federal review of electric rate hikes by CL&P and other providers nationwide. 

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Electric Rates
8:06 am
Tue December 23, 2014

State Legislators Call for Lower Residential Electric Rates

Creative Commons / angeloangelo

Legislators and lobbyists are calling for the state's largest electric utility to lower its fixed residential charge with a new proposal that would set Connecticut Light and Power's fixed rate at $10.00 a month.

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Power Crunch
1:14 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Buyer Beware as Electric Rates Soar

Connecticut's Consumer Counsel, Elin Swanson Katz.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Consumers who are scrambling to lower their electric rates in the new year are being urged to exercise caution. Looming rate increases from Connecticut Light and Power and United Illuminating have many considering signing up for an alternative supplier for the first time. 

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Connecticut Business Briefs
3:23 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Connecticut Attorney General to File More Comment on Utility Rate Hike

Attorney General George Jepsen in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Attorney General George Jepsen has welcomed the cut that regulators look likely to make to Connecticut Light and Power’s requested rate hike, but he said they should go further. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 2, 2014

What's Driving the Electric Rate Hike in Connecticut?; Herbalife's So-Called "Pyramid Scheme"

EyeLights/iStock Thinkstock

State regulators, in a draft ruling, have reduced the permanent rate increase proposed by Connecticut Light and Power, slashing the number from $221 million to about $130 million. It’s big news in the ongoing controversy over the energy company’s plan to increase electric rates.

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Utilities
3:19 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Connecticut Regulators Propose Slashing CL&P Rate Increase

Credit Невідомий / Creative Commons

Connecticut regulators say that a power utility's request to raise consumer costs by more than $230 million should be cut nearly in half. 

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Power Marketplace
9:08 am
Tue November 11, 2014

Big Electric Rate Hikes on the Way for Winter in Connecticut

Your meter may not be spinning any faster, but you'll pay more.
Sarah Simpson Creative Commons

Both of Connecticut’s electric utility companies want to raise rates sharply in January. 

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Electricity Market
3:15 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Connecticut Protests Power Auction That Will Drive Up Future Rates

Credit Невідомий / Creative Commons

Connecticut officials are once again demanding an investigation of an electricity auction earlier this year which they claim artificially drove up prices for the entire region. 

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Parakeets
3:04 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

An Unusual, Non-Lethal Idea to Deal With Connecticut's Pesky Monk Parakeets

Monk Parakeets get their name from the distinctive cowl over their heads. They're also known as "Quaker Parrots."
Kevin Burgio

Kevin Burgio remembered the first time he saw monk parakeets. He was out bird watching "and I ran across this puddle that had like five or six monk parakeets drinking from it," he said. "I'm like, what the hell is that? Did someone lose, like, five parrots? I didn't know there were parrots here."

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Keeping the Lights On
2:16 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Church Leaders, Community Activists Oppose Utility Rate Request

Credit Jeff Kubina/flickr creative commons

Church and community leaders have added their voices to the calls for Connecticut Light and Power to withdraw its latest rate request. CL&P has caused uproar by proposing to increase the fixed fees that it charges customers to raise an additional $221 million. 

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Trees, Please
1:36 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Think Cutting Back Forests for Power Lines in Connecticut Is Always Bad? Think Again.

Ken Metzler, left, with David Wagner at a power line corridor in South Windsor. The pair co-authored a paper on how power lines impact plant and animal life.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

When you think of environmentally beneficial landscapes, the land beneath power lines might not be at the top of your list, but new research is highlighting this habitat's importance in conserving a wide array of plant and insect life.

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Campaign Finance
10:07 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Northeast Utilities CEO's Campaign Plea Judged "Offensive and Disturbing"

Northeast Utilities CEO Thomas May

The Chairman and CEO of Northeast Utilities didn’t violate campaign finance laws when he urged his employees to give money to help re-elect Governor Dannel Malloy. That was the judgment this week of the State Election Enforcement Commission.

But the Commission did have strong opinions about Thomas May’s actions. “The content of the solicitation by Mr May is both offensive and disturbing, and violates the spirit and the intent of the Connecticut state contractor ban,” said the judgment.

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Energy Grid
3:21 am
Wed September 10, 2014

New York Says It's Time To Flip The Switch On Its Power Grid

A worker repairs electrical lines in Plainview, N.Y., after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. A proposed plan to overhaul the state's power grid could help the system better withstand severe weather and enable energy to be stored and managed more efficiently.
Bruce Bennett Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 11:18 am

In the power business, it's all about managing the peaks.

During the hottest days of summer, electric utilities run at full capacity to keep giant cities comfortably cool. But most of the rest of the year, half that capacity goes unused — and that's highly inefficient.

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Utilities
2:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Connecticut Utility Rate Increases Discussed at Hearing

Kenneth Bowes of Connecticut Light and Power during the PURA hearing.
Credit CT-N

A fight is brewing over a request by Connecticut's largest utility to raise rates by $232 million to upgrade equipment following destructive storms. The first of three related public hearings took place on Wednesday.

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Trees, Please
9:05 am
Thu June 26, 2014

PURA Issues Final Decision on Tree Trimming

A resident holds up a "Trees Please" sign during a public hearing on "enhanced tree-trimming" in March.
Credit Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Connecticut has a lot of trees. Our state leads the nation on this piece of technical jargon from the state forester, "woodland urban interface tree density." That means two things -- one: Connecticut has a lot of old, towering, trees -- and two, when major storms, like the ones in 2011 and 2012, hit those trees can be really vulnerable.

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Connecticut First
5:10 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Metro North Says Most 100 Day Action Steps Completed; Senate Approves Funding for West Haven VA Cent

Metro-North Railroad has released a final report on what it has done to improve safety following a series of accidents last year. The rail line says it has completed most of its priorities. In a 100-day action plan, Metro-North said it has established an investigation unit to look into the root causes of accidents, overhauled a system safety plan, reviewed and improved employee training programs and made other changes.

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Connecticut First
5:25 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

PURA Public Hearing Held; Navy Sub Returns After Secret Deployment

State regulators are giving the public one last chance to weigh in on rules governing utilities’ tree-trimming practices before issuing a final decision in the case. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority held a hearing today. A final decision by PURA is expected tomorrow.

Navy Submarine Returns From European Deployment

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Connecticut First
5:31 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Lawmakers Avert Legal Aid Cuts; Q-Poll Shows Gubernatorial Race Deadlocked

Connecticut lawmakers averted a $4.5 million cut to legal aid for the poor that was expected to reduce services for the state’s neediest residents. The legislature approved a plan to continue using increased court filing fees to fund legal aid. It was part of a massive budget bill adopted just before the legislative session ended on Wednesday.

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Utilities
8:43 am
Thu May 1, 2014

State Senate Measure Could Change the Face of Electric Bills

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary Thinkstock

The state senate has unanimously passed a bill to address many complaints against independent electricity suppliers.

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Deregulated Electricity Market
4:51 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Regulators Say Electric Suppliers Must Improve Disclosure

Credit Sarah Simpson / Creative Commons

Utility regulators say independent electric suppliers in the state should be required to give consumers a clear disclosure about how much they're paying for power.

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Cybersecurity
4:36 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Connecticut and Utilities Prepare Defenses Against Cyberattacks

Credit Flickr user Chris Hunkeler/ Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy has released a plan to protect Connecticut's utilities against cyber attacks. Connecticut's electric, natural gas, major water companies and the regional distribution systems have already been penetrated in the past.

When asked just how many cyber attacks have happened, Arthur House, chairman of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, said he can't go into much detail.

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Connecticut First
5:55 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Malloy Commemorates Gun Control Law Anniversary; Reduced Penalties for Drug Sales Near Schools

Governor Dannel Malloy and lawmakers, along with gun violence prevention groups gathered in Hartford today to commemorate the one year anniversary of the post-Newtown gun control, school safety and mental health law.

Committee Approves Reduced Penalty Bill

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Legislative Session
2:33 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

New Limits Proposed for Connecticut's Independent Electric Suppliers

Credit Sarah Simpson / Creative Commons

Proposed new legislation would set new limits on Connecticut's independent electric suppliers, curbing what state officials are calling deceptive practices. The bill was introduced by Governor Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, and Consumer Counsel Elin Katz. 

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Gone Solar
11:59 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Bridgeport Town Council Gives OK to Solar Project

After the solar project works its way through PURA, construction should begin. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch estimates the project will bring about $7 million to the city over the next 20 years.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space. 

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Connecticut First
5:57 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Jepsen Closes CL & P Investigation; Malloy Discusses Storm Damage Funding

Attorney General George Jepsen and Connecticut Light & Power have reached a $2.5 million settlement over claims that the power company "impaired and impeded" regulators during an investigation into its response to a major snowstorm in 2011 .The utility has agreed to donate the funds to Operation Fuel—which is a Connecticut energy assistance nonprofit group.

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