, Salem, MA


November 5, 2012

Our view: Utilities' performance improves after Sandy


Part of the improved performance can be attributed to the early warnings on Sandy. Weather forecasters had been predicting for days that Sandy would be a huge storm that would have a widespread impact on the East Coast.

Utilities had pre-positioned repair crews across the Northeast, ready to begin work as soon as the storm abated. That was in sharp contrast to last year’s blizzard, after which wide areas of Massachusetts and New Hampshire remained dark while repair crews drove in from other parts of the country.

In Massachusetts, Reed was much more visible, even taking calls on the radio to advise individual customers on when their power might be restored.

Utilities have also been more aggressive in trimming tree limbs that had posed a threat to power lines.

One other reason for this newfound dedication to quick repairs may be the massive fine of $16 million that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley recommended for National Grid’s poor performance after the October 2011 snowstorm. The Department of Public Utilities is expected to rule on the proposed fine within the next few weeks.

The performance of National Grid and other utilities certainly has improved this time. But the fine should stand, not only as punishment for the truly abysmal performance last year, but also for its clear value as a motivator of utilities’ current behavior.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate