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.”
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