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Judge: Lower profits on New England power line projects

A federal judge has ruled that New England electric transmission companies should make less on power lines projects, a decision Massachusetts’s attorney general said could lower electric bills.

The ruling by Administrative Law Judge Michael Cianci, Jr. would reduce the allowed profit on New England transmission projects from 11.14 percent to 9.7 percent.

Yesterday, Massachusetts Attorney General Attorney Martha Coakley said that could mean $145 million in annual savings for ratepayers by 2017. Robert Rio of the Associated Industries of Massachusetts said that’s real relief for state businesses, which pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation.

But regional utilities noted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will make the final decision. A spokesman for National Grid said lowering the profits on transmission projects could decrease much-needed investment in new transmission.

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