Northeast Utilities Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Charles W. Shivery has announced the company has increased the post-storm fund established on Nov. 9 up to $30 million.
“As we heard from our customers and had discussions with Governor Malloy and his staff, it became clear that the original sum we proposed, $10 million, was insufficient,” said Shivery. “While this storm was unprecedented, we set very high expectations for the performance of Connecticut Light and Power. Clearly, we did not meet a number of those expectations.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates our sincere desire to keep faith with our CL&P customers by assisting those who were without power the longest, as well as organizations that provide food and warmth to those most in need,” Shivery added.
The company also sought the assistance of Kenneth Feinberg, the nationally renowned claim fund administrator, who designed and administered the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation Fund. Feinberg agreed to help NU administer this post-storm fund at the request of Governor Malloy. The company announced that any residential customer without power after noon on Saturday, Nov. 5, as a result of the storm, would be eligible for credit applied to their CL&P bill – a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $200 depending on how many eligible customers apply for the credit. “I applaud the company and the Governor for working together to create a process that is simple and fair,” Feinberg said.
In addition, the company will also be making donations of up to $5 million to the Connecticut Food Bank, Foodshare and Operation Fuel to help them address community needs for this approaching winter season. Each organization will initially receive $1 million with additional funds determined at the close of the fund in January.
"The unprecedented storm created substantial hardships for many people, despite the extraordinary efforts of our employees and contractors. Having the confidence of our customers is important to us and, in addition to establishing this fund, we have taken a series of steps to improve performance at CL&P,” Shivery noted.
Those steps included providing tree crews to communities to help with debris removal, the appointment of a new President of CL&P, the creation of a new position of Senior Vice President for Emergency Preparedness and the commission of an external review of CL&P preparation and response to the storm.
“With the benefit of the various reviews under way, we will have a more complete picture and will take all appropriate actions to ensure that we are able to deliver under even extreme conditions, like those we experienced in the October storm,” Shivery noted.
The fund, which will be administered by the company, will be open for application beginning Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. On that date, CL&P will begin contacting qualified residential customers to inform them of their eligibility to apply for the credit. Those customers who filed information through 211 for claims associated with the storm after the initial fund was announced will receive a credit on their bill without further application required if they are eligible.