Three Utilities Fined For Response To Major Storms

BOSTON (December 11, 2012)—Massachusetts is fining three utilities nearly $25 million for their response to two major storms in 2011, ,the Department of Public Utilities announced Tuesday after a yearlong investigation.

Some customers were without power for a week after Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and a surprise October snowstorm.

By far the biggest penalty was assessed against National Grid, which was fined $18.7 million.

Department of Public Utilities chairwoman Ann Berwick said regulators found "systematic and fundamental failures" in how the company planned for and responded to the storms.

National Grid said in a statement it is reviewing the decision.

NStar was fined $4.1 million and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. was fined $2 million.

Both companies, divisions of Hartford, Conn.-based Northeast Utilities, say they plan to appeal.

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