Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan wants lawmakers to ensure utility executives are accountable to ratepayers.
BETHEL, CT — Local state representatives are hoping to revive legislation that would hold the feet of Eversource executives to the fire in the wake of a week-long power outage in the area.
Representatives Raghib Allie-Brennan and Anne Hughes have co-signed a letter to the Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz and Majority Leader Matthew Ritter, requesting the lawmakers pursue legislation that would provide protections to utility ratepayers.
In New York, utility Con Edison announced it would reimburse customers up to $540 for spoiled food if they were without power for 48 or more consecutive hours. Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday called upon Eversource and United Illuminating to issue similar reimbursements. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal also called for Eversource customers to be reimbursed. He went further and said CEO James Judge should resign and regulators should look at potentially breaking up the company.
Here is the letter from Allie-Brennan and Hughes, dated Aug. 13:
“Over the past several days, we have heard from residents from across our respective districts dismayed by the terrible response from Eversource during Tropical Storm Isaias.
More than a week after the storm, thousands of Connecticut residents are still without power.
“Restoration efforts are moving slowly and ratepayers who reach out to Eversource customer service lines are being given little if any information on when their power will be restored. Many of the calls and emails we have received are from seniors and other particularly at-risk individuals for whom loss of power is more than just an inconvenience – it can be life threatening.
“We have joined with our colleagues in calling for hearings on this issue because Eversource should be held accountable to Connecticut ratepayers, many of whom pay some of the highest rates in the nation.
“But hearings are not enough – the people of Connecticut deserve action. That is why we are calling for the passage of legislation along the lines of House Bill 5542, An Act Concerning Consumer Protection For Utility Customers, from 2012 which would have provided protections to ratepayers and ensured utility executives are accountable to ratepayers.
“This legislation was originally introduced and passed in 2012 but was never called up in the Senate. Sadly, the former Representatives from our respective Districts did not support this important bill. But we believe the time has come to show Connecticut residents that they are our priority and that we will stand up for them, not for big corporate interests like Eversource.”
Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan represents Connecticut’s 2nd Assembly District, consisting of parts of the towns of Bethel, Redding, Newtown, and part of Danbury. Rep. Anne Hughes serves Easton, Weston, and Redding’s 135th district.