Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen called for meaningful penalties today [Monday] for Connecticut Light and Power’s responses to last year’s Tropical Storm Irene and October Nor’easter. Jepsen filed a brief today with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority as part of an ongoing investigation into the preparation for and response to last year’s storms by the utilities. Jepsen says CL&P ignored warnings to activate an aggressive response to the storms, and misinformed customers about when their power would return. He says the next rate-making session for Connecticut utilities is several years down the road, but he wants the utility regulators to make a case against CL&P now to ensure that no storm recovery costs are passed on to consumers.
“We’re asking the regulators to make the findings while memories are fresh so that when the rate-making does take place, then an appropriate penalty will be exacted.”
Jepsen says he’s not concerned about the potential financial effects of a penalty on CL&P. Al Lara, spokesman for CL&P’s parent company Northeast Utilities, says the company has been through many reviews in the past months, including with consultants who have reviewed other utilities across the country.
“They had determined that CL&P’s overall performance, when compared to other utilities across our industry, was…consistent with industry norms.”
Lara says he expects utility regulators to announce findings from the investigation around August 1st.