For Immediate Release - November 18, 2011

DPU Reschedules Two Public Meetings About Utility Response to Tropical Storm Irene



The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) today announced it has rescheduled two public meetings to gather comments on storm preparation and power restoration efforts by two of the state’s investor-owned electric utilities in response to Tropical Storm Irene.

The DPU has rescheduled the meetings in Southborough and Attleboro for November 29 and December 1, respectively.

The DPU is reviewing each company’s 30-day post-storm report. In response to customer and municipal concerns, the DPU also opened investigations on September 15 into National Grid and NSTAR’s storm response focusing on the companies’ efforts to restore electric power, including their communications with affected communities. The investigations will determine whether the companies complied with DPU regulations and fully implemented their Emergency Response Plans, which were last filed in May 2011.

The DPU’s investigations are focused on compliance with DPU’s performance standards for emergency preparation and restoration of service, including: (1) preparation for and management of the restoration efforts with respect to Tropical Storm Irene; (2) allocation of company resources in the affected communities; (3) communications with state, local municipal and public safety officials, and with the department; (4) dissemination of timely information to the public; and (5) identification of company practices requiring improvement.

Due to the extent of the concern expressed by communities and local emergency management officials, DPU will also use these remaining two public meetings to gather public input relating the October snowstorm. On November 8, the DPU opened an investigation of storm preparation and power restoration efforts by three of the state’s investor-owned electric utilities – National Grid, NSTAR, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECo) – following the October 29 snowstorm.

As part of this new investigation, DPU will also schedule public meetings in the hard-hit areas affected by the October snowstorm. The dates and locations of those hearings will be announced soon.


National Grid

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 p.m. (rescheduled from Nov. 1)
Trottier Middle School, 49 Parkerville Road, Southborough

Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m. (rescheduled from Nov. 3)
Attleboro High School, 100 Rathbun Drive, Attleboro