For Immediate Release - November 23, 2011

DPU Hosts Eight Public Meetings on Utility Response to October 29 Snowstorm



The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) today announced it will conduct a series of eight public meetings to gather public comments on storm preparation and power restoration efforts by three of the state’s investor-owned electric utilities in the wake of the October 29 snowstorm.

In response to customer and municipal concerns, the DPU opened investigations on November 8 into National Grid, Western Massachusetts Electric Company 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. As part of that investigation, the DPU will hold meetings in each company’s service territory and will collect written public comment until 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 22, 2011. Meetings will be held in Belchertown, Brookfield, East Longmeadow, Maynard, Greenfield, Springfield, Tyngsborough, and Worcester, representing the hardest hit regions of each company’s service territory. The DPU encourages customers to attend any of the eight meetings as well as to submit written comments.

The DPU is also reviewing each company’s 30-day post-storm report, which is due 30 days after each utility completes restoring power.

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 the October snowstorm; (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.


National Grid - October 29 snowstorm hearings

Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m.
East Longmeadow High School, 180 Maple Street, East Longmeadow

Wednesday, December 7 at
Belchertown High School, Room 317, 142 Springfield Road, Belchertown

Thursday, December 8 at 7 p.m.
DCU Center, 50 Foster Street, Worcester

Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m.
Brookfield Town Hall, 6 Central Street, Brookfield

Thursday, December 15 at 7 p.m.
Tyngsboro High School, 36 Norris Road, Tyngsborough

NSTAR Electric Company - October 29 snowstorm hearing

Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m.
Maynard Town Hall, 195 Main Street, Maynard

Western Massachusetts Electric Company - October 29 snowstorm hearings

Monday, December 5 at 7 p.m.
Duggan Middle School, 1015 Wilbraham Road, Springfield

Tuesday, December 13 at 7 p.m.
Greenfield High School, 1 Lenox Ave., Greenfield

In addition, the DPU 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 in August. Due to the extent of the concern expressed over the October 29 storm by communities and local emergency management officials, DPU will also use its remaining two public meetings about Tropical Storm Irene to gather public input relating the October snowstorm. Those meeting details are below.

National Grid - Tropical Storm Irene Hearings

Tuesday, Nov. 29, 7 (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