Connecticut regulators granted their official approval to the $4.7 billion merger of Hartford-based Northeast Utilities and Boston-based NStar, leaving the companies needing only one approval to finalize their deal.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority gave preliminary approval to the deal in a draft decision on March 26, but regulators finalized the approval after another week of hearing the opposing sides take on the issue.
NU and NStar need approval from Massachusetts regulators to create the largest New England utility parent company. The Massachusetts decision is expected on Wednesday.
A key component of securing the Connecticut approval was NU agreeing to give state electric ratepayers a $25 million rate credit; freeze distribution rates until Dec. 1, 2014; invest $15 million in government energy programs; and make $300 million in infrastructure upgrades. A similar deal is in place with Massachusetts officials to secure approval there.
If complete, the merged Northeast Utilities will have 3.5 million customers spread over six subsidiaries in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including Berlin-based electric utility Connecticut Light & Power and natural gas utility Yankee Gas.