, 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
Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate