Wednesday, January 18, 2012

PURA will have to sign off on utilties merger

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has decided — if Northeast Utilities and NSTAR want to merge, PURA will have to sign off on it first. 
A final decision issued Wednesday upholds a draft decision from Jan. 3. In it, PURA states that it is “legally obliged to review the proposed merger to ensure that after any resulting merger, Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and Yankee (Yankee Gas Services Company) will have the qualifications and ability to provide safe, adequate, reliable and reasonably-priced services for Connecticut customers.” PURA ruled that “it must review and approve, with necessary or appropriate terms and conditions, or disapprove the proposed merger between NU and NSTAR.” 
According to a release:
The decision today reverses a previous PURA ruling which was under appeal by Connecticut’s Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC). In its decision, PURA cited new information provided by Connecticut’s Attorney General and the OCC as the reason for concluding it has jurisdiction to review the proposed utility company merger. This information was submitted as part of a proceeding (Docket Number 11-12-07) initiated by the NRG Companies that asked PURA to reconsider its previous ruling.
According to the decision, Attorney General George Jepsen also weighed in on the matter in PURA's favor.
Here's the rest of the release:
“The Authority (PURA) finds that all of these changes in management and ownership composition are changes that affect and impact the holding company corporate parent’s control and authority, including who makes the decisions concerning the policies and operations of CL&P and Yankee. Based on the foregoing, the Authority’s jurisdictional duty to review the proposed merger is triggered.”
In its decision, PURA said, “The Authority is mindful of certain milestones relating to the completion of the proposed merger and will dedicate all necessary staff resources to achieve a complete and thorough regulatory review consistent with that time schedule.” Upon receipt of an application concerning the merger, PURA will establish a docket and procedural schedule to expeditiously perform that review.
The full decision is below.
PURA NU Merger


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