National Grid slapped with $750K fine for ‘inadequate’ response to 2017 windstorm

BOSTON (WHDH) - National Grid has been ordered to pay a $750,000 fine for inadequate storm preparation and power restoration efforts during an October 2017 wind storm that affected more than 330,000 electric customers in 166 communities, the Department of Public Utilities announced Tuesday.

The fine was levied after an investigation determined the utility company failed to comply with DPU guidelines and regulations.

“The Department of Public Utilities is committed to ensuring electric ratepayers across the Commonwealth are provided with a high level of service, especially during times of extreme weather events,” DPU Chairman Angela M. O’Connor said in a statement. “Following a comprehensive investigation which focused on preparations before the storm, restoration efforts after the storm, and communications with affected communities, the Department found that National Grid’s storm response did not meet existing protocols and did not provide the required restoration efforts to its ratepayers. The Department will continue to work with utilities across the Commonwealth to ensure that storm response plans are focused on increasing reliability for ratepayers.”

The DPU determined that National Grid did not properly classify the severity of the storm, resulting in fewer resources being made available to customers. The DPU also found that the company did not adequately communicate with its customers or public officials.

National Grid has 30 days to submit a proposal to the DPU outlining how it will disperse the $750,000 to customers.

(Copyright (c) 2019 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)