Regulators Finalize Fines for Utilities Over Isaias Response

(AP) — Connecticut regulators on finalized millions of dollars in fines against the state’s two largest electricity distributors for what officials called the companies’ failures in their preparations and responses to Tropical Storm Isaias, which caused hundreds of thousands of power outages last year.

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, or PURA, gave final approval to a $28.6 million civil penalty against Eversource and a $1.2 million civil penalty against United Illuminating.

The penalties are in addition to profit reductions ordered by PURA that will cost Eversource about $31 million a year and United Illuminating about $1.3 million a year.

Both companies have defended their responses to the storm, which left many customers without power for more than a week. Both are appealing the profit reduction orders, but not the civil penalties.

Isaias roared through the Northeast on Aug. 4, knocking down scores of trees and utility wires. In Connecticut, more than 630,000 Eversource customers and more than 113,000 United Illuminating customers lost power during the storm.

PURA said the companies failed to comply with performance standards including not deploying enough line workers. Regulators also said the companies violated reporting requirements by not disclosing minor accidents involving workers during their storm responses.

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