Blumenthal: Limit How Much Utility Customers Pay Toward Executive Salaries
Blumenthal said utility customers contributed millions of dollars toward executive salaries last year.
Charles W. Shivery, CEO of Northeast Utilities, parent of Connecticut Light & Power Co., received $8.09 million in compensation last year, $1.3 million of which was paid by the company's Connecticut customers, Blumenthal said.
Ratepayers also paid for nearly all of the $2.26 million in compensation that United Illuminating Co. CEO James P. Torgerson was paid last year, he said.
Blumenthal and state consumer counsel Mary J. Healey pushed for a cap on ratepayer contributions last year, but it was not taken up by the legislature.
Under the cap proposal, ratepayers would not be responsible for any more than $300,000 of a utility executive's compensation — double the salary of Gov. M. Jodi Rell.
"Electric and gas consumers — many losing jobs and homes — are compelled to provide pay raises to utility executive millionaires," Blumenthal said in a statement. "These compensation disclosures should drive reform, and energize consumers who have endured rate increases over the past year."
Robert Allessio, CEO of Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas companies, received $869,817 in compensation last year, $748,480 of which was paid for by state ratepayers, Blumenthal said.
A spokesman for CNG and SCG declined to comment Tuesday, and a Northeast Utilities spokesman did not return calls.
United Illuminating spokeswoman Anita Steeves said Tuesday that the utility's executive salaries are "market-based" and that the company pays for independent compensation audits to ensure that the salaries it pays are in line with those at similarly sized utilities.