(WTNH) — Today is the day Eversource promised to get power back to most of its customers following last week’s storm. Not everyone has their power back yet as of Tuesday morning, but the numbers are getting smaller and smaller.
Last week, Eversource said they would have power back to almost everyone, with fewer than 1% of customers without power. They are not quite at that number yet. Tens of thousands are still in the dark.
But, Eversource maintains they have worked tirelessly to get power back to all of its customers with thousands of crews working to turn the lights back on.
“Obviously, if you’re without power now, you’re mad as hell and not gonna take it anymore,” said Governor Ned Lamont.
The governor said we heard all the same excuses and comments after the last big outages. What’s a governor to do? He knows you can’t do the same thing and expect different results.
Now, Lamont and Katie Dykes, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, are looking to make some long-term changes. One is that Lamont said will make sure our incentives are aligned, and to accomplish this, he said we have to change the nature of the regulation of Eversource Energy and United Illuminating.
He said right now, the companies are getting a rate of return for good things they do, as well as bad things. But now, he is calling for a performance-based regulation.
“It seems to me if you do really well, you deserve a better rate of return, and if you don’t perform, if you leave tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people without service for days on end…there should be penalties to pay,” Lamont said.
“I think what the governor is calling on here is for PURA to expand and accelerate the leadership it’s been providing in making a shift,” Dykes added. “Ultimately, I hope to a much more accountable structure for how we compensate our utilities.”
Some state legislators, also frustrated with the utilities, especially Eversource, have suggested making smaller companies out of Eversource.
Some are asking for the company’s CEO James Judge to resign. Lamont said he’ll see how things transpire with regard to all that.
Something he said with certainty: When it comes to the current rate of return regulation, “that makes no sense to me.” As Lamont described it, the utility companies are getting a good rate of return for good things, but also for bad things.
“There’s no incentives there for performance,” he said.
Lamont said what could be accomplished would be getting the utilities real incentive to “harden” their systems and to keep customers informed every step of the way of restorations. Then, the companies will be rewarded when they do well and penalized when they don’t.