CL&P Storm Response Inadequate: Regulators

Ruling could affect power companies future rate hike requests.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC Connecticut
    State regulators Tuesday said CL&P's response during Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm was inadequate and deficient.

    Connecticut regulators say Connecticut Light & Power's response to two destructive storms last year was inadequate and its performance will be a factor in requests for rate increases.

    The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority said in a draft decision Tuesday that for future rate requests it will consider the extent to which the Northeast Utilities subsidiary has recognized its shortcomings and taken steps to improve its storm response.

    Regulators said it could consider a reduction to CL&P's allowed profit as a penalty for poor management.

    Hundreds of thousands of power customers were without power for days after both storms.

    "Last year's storms were a nightmare for Connecticut residents, and the response from Northeast Utilities was unacceptable," said Gov. Dannel Malloy in a statement. "Today, PURA is echoing the earlier findings of the Two Storm Panel, the Witt report, and hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents who experienced extended power outages after each storm. It is clear that Northeast Utilities did not prepare for outages of this magnitude and did not build adequate capacity to respond."

    A spokesman for CL&P said in an email that the utility is reviewing the lengthy draft decision and will decide whether to file written comments or participate in oral arguments before a final decision is issued Aug. 1.