With hundreds of thousands of people in Connecticut still without power, state Attorney General George Jepsen is taking action. Jepsen has asked utility regulators to investigate the adequacy of Connecticut Light & Power Company’s preparedness and response to Winter Storm Alfred on Oct. 29, which left more than 831,000 CL&P customers without power. As of Thursday, more than 500 CL&P customers in New Canaan did not have electricity.
The Attorney General filed the formal request with the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, which 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. 27-28.
The Attorney General said that investigation should be expanded to include the utility’s response to Alfred, which caused even more damage to the electric power transmission and distribution system owned and operated by CL&P and caused widespread and extended service interruptions to customers, more than half of whom remained without power Thursday.
“I have received numerous complaints from affected citizens, many of whom are still waiting for their power to be restored,” Attorney General 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.”