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Counsumer Counsel Urges Approval Of Utility Merger

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State Consumer Counsel Elin Katz urges the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to approve a settlement she and the state attorney general reached, which would allow Northeast Utilities to merge with NSTAR. Photo by WTIC's Matt Dwyer.

State Consumer Counsel Elin Katz urges the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to approve a settlement she and the state attorney general reached, which would allow Northeast Utilities to merge with NSTAR. Photo by WTIC’s Matt Dwyer.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (AP) _ Connecticut’s consumer counsel is backing a proposed agreement that would see Northeast Utilities purchase a Massachusetts energy company for $4.9 billion.

Elin Swanson Katz says the agreement offers significant benefits for Connecticut consumers.

She urged the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to approve the deal at a hearing Friday.

Northeast Utilities agreed to a $25 million rate credit for customers, a separate rate freeze on distribution costs, $300 million for system improvements and other demands by Connecticut in exchange for state approval of the utility’s proposal to buy Boston-based NStar.

Massachusetts also is considering NU’s purchase of NStar. The utilities agreed to buy more than a quarter of the power produced by the long-planned Cape Wind offshore wind farm as a condition of the deal.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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