Regulators: CL&P's Storm Response 'Inadequate'

PURA issues draft decision on CL&P's response to two major storms last year which left thousands of Durham and Middlefield residents without power for days.


State regulators say CL&P was “deficient and inadequate” in several areas of its preparations and response to the two storms that hit Connecticut last year, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of residents, in some cases for more than a week.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) on Tuesday issued its draft decision on CL&P’s preparation for, and response to, last fall’s two storms – Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm.

Both storms in Durham and Middlefield for up to a week for some residents and forced the at Coginchaug High School.

PURA, which oversees utilities in Connecticut and sets their rates, said in its draft decision that it will take CL&P’s performance into account when or if the utility comes before it with a request to recover storm-related costs or when it next seeks a rate increase. CL&P currently has no rate requests before PURA, and has not submitted any requests for recovery of storm-related costs, state regulators said.

CL&P can challenge PURA’s draft decision before the agency finalizes the report on Aug. 1. A spokesman for the utility, however, said CL&P is unsure if it will do so.

"We are in the process of reviewing all 117 pages of the document and will decide if we will file written exceptions or participate in oral arguments in front of the commissioners before they issue their final decision on August 1," Mitch Gross, a CL&P spokesman, told the Connecticut Mirror.

CL&P, the state’s largest electric supplier, was roundly criticized by residents, local officials and state leaders for its response to last year’s two storms that each cut power to upward of 800,000 customers. The backlash ultimately led to a series of public hearings before the state legislature and the resignation of CL&P’s chief executive, Jeffrey Butler.


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