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In addition, United Illuminating has been assessed a $2.1 million penalty.
“Eversource failed and must regain our trust,” declared Attorney General William Tong.
The company will also spend $63.94 million to improve its planning for and response to future severe weather events.
Still to be determined is what, if anything, the utility owes customers for food and medication spoilage incurred during the tropical storm.
“Utility companies provide a critical service that can quite literally mean life or death in certain situations, and ratepayers deserve a level of respect that puts them above profits,” the governor said.
“The legislation passed tonight includes performance-based regulation which we believe will benefit our customers," Eversource -- roundly criticized for its response to Tropical Storm Isaias -- said.
Tong said his office is still getting complaints from consumers regarding last month's service disruptions.
The legislation requires utilities to credit residential customers $125 a day for service outages more than 72 hours after an emergency, except for emergencies causing outages that involve more than 870,000 customers.
“I agree I’m extremely well compensated,” Eversource head James J. Judge said about the $19.8 million he was paid last year. “I know how well I’m paid. I also know that the compensation is very much in line with CEOs of similar sized utilities.”
“This is not a time to just speak out and then go back to business,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “Let’s not let this crisis go to waste.”
Altice's actions stand in contrast to the regional utilities, which have been silent over compensation to their storm-impacted customers.
“As this was an act of nature, we don’t provide reimbursement," an Eversource spokesman said, "but we encourage our customers to reach out to their insurance carrier to see if it’s in their homeowner’s or renter’s policy.”
"Don’t let them spin this and tell you it’s gotten better," Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton said of Eversource. "It hasn't."
"Why were Eversource and United Illuminating so woefully underprepared once again?" wonders Attorney General William Tong.
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