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Hefty fines for Mass. utilities for storm response


February 19. 2013 9:36PM
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(AP) State energy regulators have fined three Massachusetts utilities nearly $25 million for systematic and fundamental failures in their response to two major storms in 2011.


The penalties were announced Tuesday by the Department of Public Utilities after a yearlong investigation.


Some customers were without power for a week after Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and a surprise October snowstorm.


By far the biggest penalty was assessed against National Grid, fined $18.7 million. The company said in a statement it was reviewing the decision.


NStar was fined $4.1 million and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. was fined $2 million. Both companies, divisions of Hartford, Conn.-based Northeast Utilities, say they plan to appeal.


Under a state law passed this year, the fines will be returned to consumers in the form of rate relief.


Associated Press


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