BERLIN, CT - Residential customers of Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) should see their 2012 monthly utility bills go down to their lowest levels in nearly seven years, following approval of new rates by the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
A CL&P residential (Rate 1) customer who has not chosen an alternative electricity supplier and uses 700 kilowatts per month will see a rate decrease of 7.5 percent or $9.25 per month. Their monthly bill will go from $123.61 down to $114.36, the lowest monthly total since 2005.
"The lower rates are primarily due to falling natural gas prices, which affects how much we pay for power," said Jim Muntz, Acting President of CL&P. "This is very positive news not only for our residential customers, but for all of our Standard Service customers, who will see reductions in their rates."
Standard Service includes all residential customers, small commercial and industrial customers, and streetlight customers who have not chosen an alternative electricity supplier and who have a peak demand of less than 500 kilowatts of electricity per month. These new rates affect about 703,000 or 58 percent of CL&P's over 1.2 million customers.
While residential and small business customers will see a decrease, rates for 159 large commercial and industrial customers who have not chosen an alternative electricity suppler, also known as Last Resort Service or LRS customers, will increase by 10.6 percent for the three-month period of January 1 to March 31, 2012. The increase in LRS rates is due to increased power supply costs that third party wholesale electric suppliers are charging CL&P for these customers.
Power for Standard Service customers is purchased several times a year over three year spans. CL&P selects the best prices at the points in time the contracts are bid. This periodic purchasing helps moderate the impact of market swings, whether up or down. The impact on Last Resort Service customers is more direct because CL&P is required to purchase power for all of their needs on a quarterly basis; therefore, market swings affect the price more directly.