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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

CL&P Increase Will Cause Budget Shortfall

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A 22.4 percent increase in Connecticut Light and Power rates approved today will cause about a $80,000 shortfall in Westport’s municipal budget, according to the town’s finance director.

The state Department of Utility of Control approved the increase today, and it will take full effect in April. Rate-payers will see an 17.5 percent increase on Jan. 1, and rates will increase 4.9 percent more in April.

Bills for the average residential customer using 700 kilowatt hours per month will climb $23.40 a month once the entire increase takes effect.

The state agency is forcing the utility company to use about $40 million already collected from a special charge to off-set the increase for the first three months.

Westport Finance Director Donald Miklus said he was estimating a 21.5 percent increase in electricity rates.

He was estimating electricity costs with the increase to be $930,000 by the end of the fiscal year on June 30, he said, which would be $80,000 over budget.

“In the 2004-05 fiscal year, we wound up spending $720,000 in electricity costs,” he said. “With this increase, we’re now projecting electricity to cost $1.1 million in the 2006-07 budget.”

Miklus said a few years ago town officials went through a program to start energy efficient programs for both electricity and heating.

“We’ve already done quite a bit,” he said. “I don’t know what more we could do except shut down some buildings.”

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Posted 12/28/05 at 09:30 PM  Permalink



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