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Attorney General: Calling Eversource on the carpet

Attorney General William Tong is calling for more action to hold Eversource accountable.

HARTFORD, Conn — Criticism has been loud and widespread with how Eversource and United Illuminating handled their post-Tropical Storm Isaias response efforts.

Now, state Attorney General William Tong is calling for more action to hold Eversource accountable.

The storm had knocked power out to over 700,000 customers over the two companies, and in the week after the storm, officials from First Selectmen all the way up to Governor Ned Lamont have called the company's response unacceptable. The outages came as the state also fights to stave off COVID-19 infections, people are working from home, and as we faced scorching temperatures for nearly a week.

Last Wednesday, Gov. Lamont had asked an investigation be opened into Eversource.

Gov. Lamont had asked the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority PURA a list of requests:

  • Consider whether the utilities were adequately prepared and have the resources they need to handle large weather events
  • Evaluate their response and whether it met regulatory and statutory requirements
  • Determine whether their investments went towards their outage response system
  • Determine whether civil penalties should be applied

Thursday, PURA said they will examine, in detail, measures each company took in preparation for this storm, which caused widespread power outages and lengthy service restoration timelines, as well as reasons behind the clear misstep in response.

Lamont also discussed changing the way rate hikes were determined for utilities in the state. Currently, rate hikes are approved based on the utilities expenditures. Lamont has proposed that state reviews for rate hike requests be based on performance. There would be a financial benefit for excellent performance and what Lamont termed "painful consequences" for poor performance. Katie Dykes, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, said the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority had the power make the changes.