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Northeast Utilities Issues Apology, Offers $10 Million [With Poll]

CL&P also promises to waive late payment fees for its customers through the remainder of 2011, and promises flexible payment programs for customers who experienced "losses and disruptions to their lives."

Charles W. Shivery, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Northeast Utilities, Wednesday announced a series of initiatives designed to offer relief to customers severely impacted by the October nor’easter and enhance future storm restoration response.

“This storm disrupted the lives of more than 830,000 CL&P customers,” said Shivery, in a prepared release. “I understand the hardship that this has caused, and I realize that we did not meet the goals that we set for ourselves and upon which many of our customers relied, and for that I apologize.”

“An apology, however, is only the first of the measures we will take,” Shivery continued.  “I have spoken extensively with Governor Malloy and told him we will continue to take action to meet our customers’, his and our own expectations.”

Mr. Shivery has offered Governor Dannel Malloy $10 million from NU and the Northeast Utilities Foundation to establish a fund to directly assist CL&P residential customers who experienced losses as a result of the recent natural disaster.

NU employees and Connecticut residents and businesses will be able to contribute to the fund, which will be managed and administered at the Governor’s discretion.

In addition, CL&P has committed to waive late payment fees for its customers through the remainder of 2011 and arrange flexible payment programs for those customers who experienced losses and disruptions to their lives.  

CL&P will also provide additional resources to help with residual tree-trimming and clean up, at no cost to cities and towns impacted by the October 29 storm.  

In addition, to further enhance future storm response, Mr. Shivery has indicated to Governor Malloy that NU would pay for the hiring of an independent, third-party firm to conduct a more comprehensive review of the company’s preparedness and response to the pre-Halloween snowstorm, and assist with the implementation of appropriate recommendations.  This additional independent, third-party assessment would continue the examination of the utility response evaluation that is currently under way by former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director James Lee Witt.  The firm to be hired would be selected after an open bidding process.

Earlier this week, Mr. Shivery called Thomas Kuhn, President of the Edison Electric Institute — the electric utility industry trade association — and asked the organization to review the current mutual aid process.

“I’m especially grateful to all of our employees for their professionalism, dedication and concern for our customers throughout this unprecedented restoration,” added Shivery.  “I would also like to thank Governor Malloy for his leadership, as well as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the state’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Operations, the Connecticut National Guard, and state and municipal officials for their cooperation and support.” 

mary November 09, 2011 at 10:19 PM
Mr. Shivery has offered Governor Dannel Malloy $10 million from NU and the Northeast Utilities Foundation to establish a fund to directly assist CL&P residential customers who experienced losses as a result of the recent natural disaster. NU employees and Connecticut residents and businesses will be able to contribute to the fund, which will be managed and administered at the Governor’s discretion. I don't understand why residents and business and NU employees would want to contribute to a fund especially since they are the ones who suffered immeasurable losses. Did you mean they would benefit from rather than contribute to?
David Moran (Editor) November 09, 2011 at 11:51 PM
I love how NU's chief executive is named Shivery! I think that's appropriate for the past week or more some CT residents spent without heat. Dave M.
Sharon Abramczyk November 10, 2011 at 12:53 AM
The bottom line is that they cannot have enough crews on hand to handle this large an outage so they need to perfect the system for utilizing out of state assistance more efficiently and communicating with the crews in a timely manner. They do well when there is a smaller outage so the plan for the larger outage needs to be put in place and the worst of it was for me that they lied to us about the restoration time--repeatedly. In my case, they didn't know the cause of our issue or have any way to handle it until Tuesday, 11/8. Once the problem was diagnosed, they gave great info and called me back when the repair was complete--I just wish they hadn't offered the vague platitudes and lies for the first 8 days. They just weren't going to get to us yet--saving us for the end.
Robert Hepler November 10, 2011 at 02:05 AM
What about the loss of hundreds of dollars worth of food due to the extended time without power? In this economy this was a tremendous hardship.
Sami Mehmed Jr November 10, 2011 at 02:25 AM
Home owners insurance should cover loss of food up a specific amount as function of your insurance.
Sonya Dowdy November 10, 2011 at 03:04 AM
I lost a weeks pay because my salon was without power:(
Margaret Waage November 10, 2011 at 04:29 AM
Damage control, no doubt. It's better than nothing even if it's not enough!
Sam November 10, 2011 at 01:35 PM
Just got my bill for the month, $7 cheaper than last month. It makes now sense considering I didn't have power for a week. Time to call CL-P
Sheryl November 10, 2011 at 02:32 PM
Sami, This isn't always the case. I have renter's insurance and with a $250.00 deductible that just about covers what I lost. In addition I have relatives who own their homes and have been told by their homeowner's insurance that because this was an Act Of God and not a freezer or refrigerator malfunction or break down that they wouldn't cover the loss of food.
Sami Mehmed Jr November 10, 2011 at 03:31 PM
Sherl, very sorry to learn that some insurance companies deny coverage for loss of food caused by this recent event. Definitely dump that insurance company asap. Investigation and select a new insurer based on lessons learned, (ask questions). Personnally, AMICA insurance has provided excellant service for many years, both homeowners and car. AMICA returns a dividend at the end of the year, so rates may look higher at first. Note: Experience shows that deductibles are un-avoidable unless willing to accept higher primiums. Not an expert, just past experience and current experience.
d harrington November 10, 2011 at 06:58 PM
Again in private industry as in government there seems to be money that is always on hand. Be it ten million dollars for a pacifier. Or eight hundred thousand dollars for a tote board. Its always there, it just appears out of nowhere. But as sure as god made little green apples, the rates have to be increased, the taxes need to double. Its like a bad movie and only a handful of people can see it and the rest support it like a bunch of brainwashed zombies! If you really listen, I mean really listen to all these CEO's, governors, mayors, senators and so on, you'll see your being played like fiddle and rode like a dime store pony! All this money poof appears, and yet the man in charge of this country mandated a fifteen cent tax on christmas tree's,! I can only hope some of you come out of the ether soon.
mary November 10, 2011 at 09:16 PM
Thank you for the wake up call d Harrington
Suzy DeYoung November 10, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Several Connecticut Residents have expressed interest in starting a petition to our state and federal representatives regarding CL&P's failures. If interested, please join the campaign by adding your signature to the petition and by passing it along to others as well. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/actionagainstconnlightandpower/
Sandy Samardge November 11, 2011 at 01:04 AM
Mary, I too, wondered about the choice of "contribute" and truly hope it was an error and they meant to write "benefit!"
Skip Cashwell November 15, 2011 at 02:14 AM
Dear "d harrington" - let us all remember how the Town of Windsor Town Council committed almost a million dollars to contract a - get this - HORSE TRAIL from Hartford to the Windsor Dump (April 2011). Yes, that is what I said, a horse trail to the dump so people who cannot afford a car or to ride the bus can at least ride their horses...somewhere! What a shame that the town council members who voted for this abomination & tax increaser were not voted out this past election!

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