Eversource was read the riot act by Connecticut lawmakers during a hearing regarding recent rate hikes and the company’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias.
Members of the state legislative Energy & Technology Committee grilled Eversource officials, including CEO Jim Judge on Thursday, Aug. 27 after some in Connecticut were left without power for more than a week.
Elected officials questioned Judge on the company’s response to the storm, its lack of preparation, and the broken down communications that happened during the storm, when thousands of customers were unable to get accurate times of restoration or information on repairs from Eversource, has headquarters in Boston and Hartford.
“Today I was able to question Eversource's leadership team about their failures to communicate storm response operations, potential billing credits after a formal review of the response efforts, and the rate increases that were approved at the end of June,” Rep. Billy Buckbee stated. “I will continue to advocate for New Milford and ask the questions that you deserve answers to.
“I think that communication breakdown is paramount to the entire process,” Buckbee noted.
Judge said that Eversource restored service to its customers in “record time” given the circumstances caused by the tropical storm over this month.
“I think the issue comes down to the mistakes that a company made,” Judge said. “You (said) that communications is a breakdown and we’ll take a look at just how broken we were as we do our post-storm review and file this report, and we’ll make a decision at that time.”
Judge stated that Eversource would be filing a report with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in the beginning of September while acknowledging that the company’s response to the storm “wasn’t perfect” and that communication during an emergency is something they’re striving to improve.
“I think that our team dealt with a devastating storm as effective as they could,” he said. “It’s heartbreaking in many ways in terms of what people had to endure here. I wish that we could provide perfect power. I really do, but it’s just not a possibility at this stage of the technology.”
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