December 19, 2012

CL&P Sandy costs top $145M

Berlin-based electric utility Connecticut Light & Power incurred $145 million in preparation and recovery costs from Superstorm Sandy in October and November.

CL&P's parent company, Northeast Utilities, announced at an investor's conference on Thursday that all four of its electric utilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire suffered $195 million in Sandy costs, with CL&P making up the majority.

All of the company's storm costs are eligible to be recovered through the ratepayers, although NU did not indicate when it would seek the recovery. New Haven-based United Illuminating previously had said it would recoup its $40 million in storm costs from ratepayers.

CL&P likely won't seek recovery of its $145 million immediately because its rates are frozen through 2014 as part of NU's agreement with state regulators for approval of its April merger with Boston-based NStar.

CL&P already has nearly $300 million in recovery costs pending from the two power outages in 2011 caused by Tropical Storm Irene and an October snowstorm, which the company said it will seek starting in 2014. NU agreed to forgo $40 million of those costs as part of the NStar merger, and state officials are attempting to block the recovery of up to another $150 million of those costs as the result of deficiencies in responding to the 2011 storms.

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