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Friday, January 19, 2018

Department of Public Utilities Opens Investigation into National Grid’s Preparation and Response to October Storm

Department of Public Utilities Opens Investigation into National Grid’s Preparation and Response to October Storm

BOSTON – January 19, 2018 – The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) today opened a formal investigation into National Grid’s storm preparation and power restoration efforts following the October 29, 2017 windstorm. As part of the investigation, the DPU will examine how National Grid responded to the October 29, 2017 storm, focusing on their preparations before the storm, restoration efforts after the storm, and communications with affected communities. The DPU will also review whether National Grid complied with DPU guidelines and regulations and the company’s own Emergency Response Plan. Based on its findings, the DPU could levy financial penalties and order changes to National Grid’s restoration procedures going forward.  

“Electric ratepayers across the Commonwealth should expect the timely restoration of service following extreme weather events,” said DPU Chairwoman Angela M. O’Connor. “The Department of Public Utilities’ investigation will be fair and thorough, focused on assessing whether the storm response was consistent with existing protocols and determining whether there can be improvements to increase reliability for ratepayers.

Following the October 29, 2017 storm, the DPU directed Eversource Energy and National Grid to file Final Event Reports detailing their preparation and restoration efforts. Following the review of those reports, the DPU believes further investigation into the restoration performance of National Grid is warranted.    

As part of this investigation, the DPU will conduct two public hearings to hear from residents, businesses, and local officials in the hardest-hit areas affected by the October storm. The hearings will be held at North Andover Middle School in North Andover on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 at 7:00pm, and at McCarthy Middle School in Chelmsford on Thursday, February 15, 2018 at 7:00pm.

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