State regulators urge Eversource, UI customers to take part in PURA hearings this week

Connecticut

Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut State regulators are urging Eversource Evergy and United Illuminating customers to take part in public hearings being held this week about the companies’ response to outages after Tropical Storm Isaias.

The hearings will be held via Zoom Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Thursday and Friday at 9 a.m.

Attorney General William Tong will make a plea in Wednesday’s PURA hearing urging regulators to immediately reimburse Eversource and UI customers who lost food and medication due to prolonged power outages during Tropical Storm Isaias.

Tong told News 8 now is not the time to hide, but rather a time for these utility companies to step forward and say they were wrong and could have done better.

Tong has been advocating for months to help those who lost food and medication during long power outages at the hands of Tropical Storm Isaias. He pushed PURA to open a case and review UI and Eersource’s lack of preparation and not-so swift response to ratepayers.

The office of the attorney general has filed 45 interrogatories since the storm — a list of questions used in the discovery process in a civil action suit as part of PURA’s investigation. He says people are struggling with the pandemic, many have lost their jobs and some are still trying to hold onto their jobs. Tong says they need help.

“People are really hurting. Were in the middle of a global pandemic, a public health emergency where people are just trying to hold onto their jobs, their small businesses,” Tong says. “I want this fight to go as quickly as possible. Why? Because people need relief and we need the utilities to step forward and say this is never going to happen again. Here’s what we’re going to do to make it right.”

Tong said we saw something very similar after superstorms Irene and Sandy hit our state. It is why he says so many people have been frustrated with the lack of response seen during Isaias.

We also reached out to both UI and Eversource for comment.

Eversource released a statement to News 8 saying:

“We understand the hardships our customers and towns experienced during Tropical Storm Isaias. Every major storm poses unique challenges for our customers and provides us with the invaluable opportunity to examine our emergency response processes and procedures. These public comment sessions are an important part of PURA’s storm review process – allowing customers and community leaders to express their input and share their experiences. We welcome their feedback and continue to work with PURA, other state agencies and elected officials to evaluate additional opportunities to coordinate a stronger emergency response.

Mitch Gross, Eversource Connecticut Media Relations

You can join the meetings by clicking here.

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