HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Most Connecticut ratepayers are about to see a boost in their electric bills.

The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority announced Monday its approval of higher standard service rates proposed by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The cost of natural gas has been rising due to limited pipeline access.

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The six-month rate takes effect Jan. 1.

For customers of CL&P, a subsidiary of Northeast Utilities, the residential generation rate increases to 12.6 cents per kilowatt hour from about 10 cents. A customer who uses an average 700 kilowatt hours would pay $88.40 a month, up about $18, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

UI’s residential generation rate will increase to 13.3 cents per kilowatt hour, from 8.7 cents.

The natural gas price increases underlying the request already have been posted in contracts purchased under state oversight.

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CL&P customers could be hit with a double whammy. State regulators are still considering the utility’s request to raise its fixed monthly residential service.

A decision could come early next year.

Nora Duncan, AARP director in Connecticut, said she’s particularly concerned about the toll the hikes might take on seniors living on limited incomes, some in electrically heated retirement apartments.

“It could be upwards of another $20 a month on people’s bills, and there’s no way to get around that by turning down the heat,” Duncan said.

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