Conn. AG files petition with PURA to request penalties against CL&P

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 9, 2013

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen filed a petition Tuesday with the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority requesting additional penalties against Connecticut Light and Power in a recent storm recovery request.

Jepsen alleges CL&P impeded PURA's ability to completely look into the storm restoration efforts after an October 2011 noreaster by failing to disclose all important information during a 2012 storm response inquiry. Jepsen requests that the company be penalized through rejection of part of its request to recover storm-related costs.

"As the restoration from the October nor'easter proceeded, CL&P committed to the governor, municipal officials and its customers that it would restore 99 percent of all homes and businesses in each town it served by midnight on November 6," Jepsen said. "The documents produced are relevant to whether the November 6 restoration projection was reasonable and whether CL&P knew that estimate was attainable. CL&P's failure to provide complete and accurate documents undermined PURA's investigation. The company should be penalized for this conduct in a manner sufficient to deter it and others from engaging in this type of behavior in the future."

At Governor Dannel Malloy's request, Jepsen's office conducted an independent inquiry into CL&P's storm response at the same time as PURA's inquiry. During the PURA proceedings, Jepsen requested complete and unredacted documents. When PURA's inquiry was complete, CL&P produced documents such as handwritten notes and emails to Jepsen that allegedly should have been produced in response to the various requests for documents. Jepsen alleges CL&P failed to comply in a full, timely and accurate matter with the information requests and impeded PURA's access to necessary facts.

In a decision reached in August, PURA determined CL&P engaged in a deficient and inadequate storm response after the noreaster, including deficient communication and development of restoration times to customers. PURA retained the authority to determine an appropriate amount of storm recovery for CL&P for the 2011 events in a future proceeding.

The October 2011 noreaster interrupted electric service to more than 800,000 residents of Connecticut. Many electric customers had no power for as many as 11 days.

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