NEW BRITAIN – U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal on Friday called on the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to reject what the senator says will amount to a 25% rate increase over the next three years by Aquarion – a public water supply company.
Blumenthal, standing outside the PURA office on Franklin Square, called the proposal “totally unacceptable,” noting that many families are struggling to make ends meet with the increase of cost in so many other necessities.
“Water is not a luxury or convenience,” Blumenthal said. “Water is not a competitive item.”
Many people of Connecticut, the senator continued, only have one source for water.
Aquarion, a subsidiary of Eversource, was purchased by the energy company in 2017 for $1.6 billion, according to Blumenthal. For the first half of the year, he continued, Eversource has seen a 17% increase in profits, while its subsidiary Aquarion has seen a 12% increase in the same timeframe.
“That’s not revenue,” Blumenthal said. “That’s profit.”
“This is not a struggling company,” the senator continued.
Blumenthal on Friday was joined by Tom Swan, executive director of Connecticut Citizen Action Group. Swan said he was speaking on behalf of CCAG when he expressed “shock and dismay” at the rate increase that is being proposed.
Swan said he would be embarrassed to show his face if he were an executive of Aquarion – which is a public water supply company for more than 750,000 people in 72 cities and towns in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
Swan went on to say that Aquarion is holding its customers hostage by making such a rate increase proposal.
The rate increase, which would take effect in February, would start with a 13.9% increase in 2023. It would then be followed by a 6.9% increase the next year and a 4.2% increase in 2025, according to Blumenthal. In total, the senator said, this would add up to about a 25% increase over three years.
Blumenthal called on PURA to “do the right thing” and say no to this proposal. The senator, who called the proposal “reprehensible,” said there is also still time for Eversource to do the right thing and retract this proposed increase. Blumenthal said he is not optimistic this would happen.
Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or email@example.com.