WESTBROOK — State Sen. Art Linares has created an online petition at senatorlinares.com where area residents can sound off about electric rate hikes and urge state regulators to oppose future hikes.

“Many people have asked me what they can do to help me to fight rate hikes,” said Linares in a statement. “One way is to take our message to the decision-makers. The signatures on this petition will be delivered to state electricity regulators soon. The message we are sending is clear: We cannot afford higher electricity rates.”

On September 3 Linares joined with area residents at New London City Hall to voice his opposition to the proposed Connecticut Light & Power rate hike. Linares addressed state regulators during a packed public hearing on the proposal.

“I have received many calls and emails on the issue of the rate hike. All of the calls and emails have been from people who are opposed to the rate hike. This rate hike could cost the average ratepayer an extra $150 a year. A senior citizen from Clinton told me there is no way he and his wife can afford to pay an extra $150 a year. There are many, many more people who are in the same situation. Please consider them when you make your decision. Reject this request for a rate hike. There is no way that our seniors, our working families, and our most vulnerable citizens can afford $150 more a year.”