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New England states protest grid operator's budget

Associated Press Published: November 28, 2012

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State attorneys general, regulators and consumer advocates in Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island said Wednesday a proposed budget requested by New England's electric grid operator is excessive.

The officials said in a filing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that ISO-New England's $165 million budget request for 2013 "has grown exponentially, seemingly without regard to poor economic conditions."

State officials say the region's ratepayers bear the cost of running ISO and asked federal regulators to require more state involvement in the budget process.

Arthur House, chairman of Connecticut's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, said ratepayers who pay ISO's expenses "must have a meaningful opportunity" to review ISOs annual budgets.

"The current system with no required state regulator review has resulted in unchecked growth by the ISO," he said. "FERC should receive and consider state utility regulator input from states actually served by ISO-NE before issuing any decisions approving annual budgets."

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