Connecticut, Eversource reach deal over Isaias response
Connecticut officials announced Friday a settlement with Eversource regarding the electric utility’s response in 2020, to Tropical Storm Isaias, which left thousands without power for several days.
Under the agreement, Eversource agreed to return $103.4 millions to consumers and to provide greater accountability during future storms. Ned Lamont, Attorney General William Tong made the announcement. Eversource has also agreed to not apply for rate increases until January 2023,. Rates that are not in effect until January 2024, would not be effective, the governor’s offices stated.
“With the settlement, ratepayers receive some well-deserved relief in both the short-term and the long-term. They also get more security that this will not happen again,” Gov. Ned Lamont made the following statement.
The storm hit Connecticut on Aug. 4, 2020, with rain and high winds, leaving roughly 800,000 utility customers without power at its peak.
Local officials claimed that it was difficult for residents to find out when and where crews will be arriving to restore power due to inability to reach the utility. Many people were without power for over a week, and many towns didn’t see a utility truck in two days.
Customers will receive credits for their January and December electric bills, $65million in Eversource funds. According to the company, $10 millions will be used by customers with difficulty paying their utility bills.
The average customer will receive a credit totaling $35,, according to the governor’s office. The agreement will also require Eversource to hire a Connecticut-based president for its state operation, Connecticut Light & Power. This will allow Connecticut residents to have greater control over their operations and give them more seats on its governance board.
Eversource officials who had previously defended their storm response, and claimed power was restored as soon as possible, have also agreed to not appeal the $28.4million penalty imposed by Connecticut regulators. They found Isaias’ response inadequate.
Eversource spokesperson Tricia Modifica said the deal is a reflection of the company’s deep commitment to Connecticut, and will provide tangible relief as customers continue to deal with COVID-19 and prepare for the winter.
“We have learned valuable lessons from Tropical Storm Isaias, and we’ve made many improvements to our communication during storms,” she stated. “We want to win over the hearts and minds of Connecticut by showing our commitment to both customers, and Connecticut leadership at a time that we must all work together to create a new clean energy future.”