HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut pays the highest electricity rates in the continental United States. The only state that pays higher electricity rates is the island state of Hawaii.

Close to half the payments you make to Connecticut Light and Power or United Illuminating do not end up going to those companies. The payments go to wholesale electricity producers. And some state leaders said wholesalers are profiting handsomely from a system that is not working.

It’s hard to live without electric power. However, it seems to be getting harder and harder to pay for it here in Connecticut and the prices seem to skyrocket during certain months of the year.

Figures from the United States Energy Information said in 2007, the average retail price of electricity in Connecticut for residential customers was almost $150 a month.

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