The state's ongoing investigation into CL&P's response to Tropical Storm Irene has been expanded to include this latest storm, dubbed Winter Storm Alfred.
Today, five days after the winter storm hit and hundreds of thousands of residents are still without power and heat, Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen asked utility regulators to investigate the adequacy of CL&P's preparedness and response. At its peak, the storm left more than 831,000 CL&P customers without power and a total of nearly a million across the state.
Jepsen filed the formal request with the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). The authority opened an investigation on Sept. 22 to review the service response and communications of CL&P and the United Illuminating Co., as well as the operations of the telecommunications, natural gas and water public service companies following the extended outages caused by Tropical Storm Irene, which hit the state on Aug. 28.
“I have received numerous complaints from affected citizens, many of whom are still waiting for their power to be restored,” Jepsen said. “Reliable electric service is a matter of public health and safety, and Connecticut’s citizens deserve to know that the utilities and the State are doing everything possible to provide electric service as soon as possible.
“PURA is clearly the entity with the legal authority as well as the institutional expertise to evaluate CL&P’s storm response. The PURA has the authority to order changes to CL&P’s operations and if necessary to fine the company,” Jepsen said.
In his motion to PURA, the Attorney General wrote, “The Authority should carefully investigate the adequacy of CL&P’s preparedness for the Oct. 29 event and the effectiveness of its response and hold the Company accountable.”
Among the issues the Attorney General asked the regulators to address were:
CL&P’s preparations for the magnitude of the storm
Its advance reservation and payment procedures for out-of-state work crews
The effectiveness of its response to the damage on the ground