BERLIN, CT (WFSB) -- After the governor requested an investigation into the state's utility companies, state regulators have agreed to do so.

Gov. Ned Lamont met with Eversource executives on Wednesday afternoon.

After the meeting, he announced he is requesting the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to conduct an investigation of the state's utility companies, including Eversource and United Illuminating, amid the widespread outages.

“I want to them to feel the sense of urgency that we felt when there’s an outage. I want to make sure we put every person we can on the table to make sure we are taking care of them. I don’t want any excuses, we are going to do some assessment, have to figure things out over the next few days," Lamont said.

On Thursday afternoon, PURA said it will act on the governor's request.

PURA said it will examine the measures that Eversource and United Illuminating "took in preparation for this storm, which caused widespread power outages and lengthy service restoration timelines, as well as reasons behind the clear misstep in response."

PURA chairman Marissa P. Gillett said: “There has been a significant failure in communication here, leaving upward of 800,000 Eversource customers without even a clear way to report an outage from the outset of the storm event. There are disturbing reports emerging about the coordination, or lack thereof, between our electric utilities and the communities which they serve. This is simply unacceptable. There will be a full, transparent investigation to follow; however, I want to emphasize that the focus remains for the time being on addressing life safety issues, restoration of service to critical facilities, and restoration of service to all 1,000,000+ Connecticut residents and businesses who lost power before and after the storm.”

Lamont said he is asking PURA to:

  • Consider whether the utilities were adequately prepared and have the resources they need to respond to significant weather events
  • Evaluate their response and whether it met regulatory and statutory requirements
  • Determine whether resources that were invested into their outage response system was prudent in light of the recent system failures
  • Determine whether civil penalties should be applied.

“Several years ago, Connecticut experienced largescale outages that took days to recover from, and we were told that the utilities were improving their resources so that they can be prepared for the next time Mother Nature inevitably hits again,” Governor Lamont said. “And now here we are, with a wholly inadequate response to another storm. I’m asking PURA to begin this investigation so that we can determine whether the companies are meeting their legal obligations and whether any penalties need to be applied. The people of Connecticut deserve better than the service they are receiving.”

“This storm will be the second largest storm in the state. Bigger than Super Storm Sandy. Super Storm Sandy had 500,000 customers impacted, about 7,500 damage locations," said Craig Hallstrom, president of Regional Operations at Eversource.

Elected leaders in several towns are also blasting Eversource for not doing enough to prevent so many outages.

RELATED: Gov. declares state of emergency as hundreds of thousands remain without power

The last time the state saw outages like this was during the October storm of 2011.

Right after that, the head of the power company resigned.

After intense criticism over delays, another issue during Tuesday’s storm was getting through to the company. Many customers tried calling to report outages, but the automated system wasn’t working.

Check the list of outages for Eversource customers here, and United Illuminating here.

Copyright 2020 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Recommended for you

(9) comments

marilyn turner

I think that Gov. Lamont should be investigated along with Sen. Blumenthal and Sen. Murphy as to why they didn't call in the Connecticut National Guard sooner to help remove all the trees on power lines, to help the power companies repair the grid for to homeowners and business owners.

Uh huh

Please Mike6972, once Trump is bumped, move to whatever Fascist country he does. I’m sure you’ll be very happy there.

In the meantime the United States of Americans can go back to for equality for all instead of for you and your like only.

mike6972

"Fascist country"? I struggle to even think of one. Fascism went out with World War Two.

There are plenty of Communist and socialist countries. I could suggest that you move to one. However, unlike Leftists, I don't hate people I disagree with. I certainly don't use words such as "you and your like".

The "equality" you desire is equality of squalor. Everyone equally poor and miserable. Everyone fearful of saying the wrong thing lest they receive a knock on the door from the secret police in the middle of the night. That's socialism. You may think you want it. However, once you get it, you'll regret it.

mike6972

So, the Left is going to bankrupt Eversource now, just like they did to PG&E in California? These political attacks are a precursor to lawsuits. Lawsuits designed to bankrupt Eversource, just like PG&E. Then comes the State takeover. After that comes Venezuela-style brownouts and blackouts. Government is great at destroying and seizing enterprises. However, it can't run them; it can only ruin them. Time to buy that whole-house backup generator!

Uh huh

[thumbdown]You must be enjoying your stay at home job, from the comfort of your gererator powered home mike6972.

If Neversource had run their company putting competency over profits, maybe a takeover wouldn’t be in the cards for them.

I highly doubt you’ll be able to climb off your high horse and see how must Americans live though mike6972. Enjoy your elitism while it lasts. Something tells me that won’t be long now.

Mamajama

Um...it's the day after a major storm. Are we really going to jump all over the response time already? You can't just magically get everyone's power back immediately. Do people not know this? The lines can't be fixed until the trees are cleared. Have a little patience, folks...

mike6972

I never lost electricity this time. I have a $350 standby generator that I have used many times. In case you haven't noticed, Connecticut has lots of trees. The windstorm hit during the height of summer. Every tree has plenty of leaves. Full trees make excellent sails. Full trees + 80 mph winds = massive power outages. What did you expect? Why do you think response time would be better with a socialist State-run utility? Socialist countries like Venezuela and Cuba have power outages all the time. It's normal for them. If the Left takes over in 2020, it will become normal for us as well.

CTYankee

Gov. Malloy vetoed a law that would have addressed responsibility of homeowners to deal with dangerous trees.

Gov Lamont will investigate & meet with utilities but changes law enforcement rules without meeting and investigations into what really should be done.

Great job guys.

Brian C. Duffy

Communism is authoritarian socialism. Venezuela and Cuba are communist countries. Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. are democratic socialist countries and have been for decades,. Where did you get your political science degree MiKKKe? Let me guess, the same place as Hannity, Rush, and Glenn Beck?

Brian Duffy ~~ Tariffville, CT

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.