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Sarah Simpson / Creative Commons

Proposed new legislation would set new limits on Connecticut's independent electric suppliers, curbing what state officials are calling deceptive practices. The bill was introduced by Governor Dannel Malloy, Attorney General George Jepsen, and Consumer Counsel Elin Katz. 

Flickr Creative Commons

With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space. 

Attorney General George Jepsen and Connecticut Light & Power have reached a $2.5 million settlement over claims that the power company "impaired and impeded" regulators during an investigation into its response to a major snowstorm in 2011 .The utility has agreed to donate the funds to Operation Fuel—which is a Connecticut energy assistance nonprofit group.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Last week, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority called for a "voluntary suspension" of so-called "enhanced tree-trimming" around the state. United Illuminating and CL&P quickly filed formal responses and -- surprise -- they both want to keep trimming.

Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary / Thinkstock

If you buy power from an independent supplier, rather than the state's two regulated utilities, the Connecticut Light and Power Company and United Illuminating, you could be paying a lot more for your power, rather than saving money.

Putting that extra cost together means a lot of money -- $13.7 million for customers in one month if they had chosen to use a supplier instead.

Contributed Photo

The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority is calling for a suspension of "enhanced tree trimming" around the state. It's a decision following months of public outcry.

Sarah Simpson / Creative Commons

Connecticut's independent electric suppliers have come in for some stiff criticism this winter, after it was revealed that some were charging customers astronomical rates for power. But the suppliers themselves claim there's another side to the story.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

As United Illuminating continues revisions on its ambitious tree-cutting plan, a group of scientists at UConn is studying why trees fail, and how they can be made stronger.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, PURA will now delay their decision on United Illuminating's ambitious tree-cutting plan past Wednesday, January 29, due to a public hearing request from UI to discuss "technical issues."

James Riden / Creative Commons

Connecticut's gas utilities are asking regulators to lower the amount they'd have to charge businesses that sign up for new gas service. The request comes as regulators debate the final shape of the state's new comprehensive energy plan.

Flickr Creative Commons, angeloangelo

As concerns over the security of America's electrical infrastructure continue to grow, Connecticut Light & Power and the United Illuminating Company said they will both take part in a multi-national security exercise this week. The drill will be run by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (also known as NERC) and will include Homeland Security, FBI officials, and hundreds of utilities. 

Devcore / Wikimedia Commons

Northeast Utilities has revealed its plans to outsource 200 information technology jobs to Indian firms. The news comes after weeks of pressure on the company. Northeast Utilities employees had heard rumors that some jobs might be outsourced as the giant company reorganizes in the wake of its merger with Massachusetts-based NStar.

Guido Gerding / Wikimedia Commons

State lawmakers are turning up heat on Northeast Utilities over rumors the utility giant will outsource its information technology functions. The legislators say the company isn't playing straight with them. For several weeks, gossip has been circulating about the intentions of Northeast Utilities with regard to its IT department.

New England electric transmission companies may be required to profit less from transmission line projects, according to a federal ruling this week. A decision is still pending from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Harriet Jones

Connecticut Light and Power says only around 140 homes remain without power after Friday’s storm. In all the utility has restored power to almost 70,000 homes, most of them in the Southeast of the state. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports from Stonington.

 

 

Sunday afternoon, a utility crew raises a bucket truck under wires running along Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck. According to CL&P’s Bill Quinlan, crews like these worked literally around the clock this weekend.

courtesy, Governor's office

Governor Dannel Malloy has appealed for patience as restoration efforts continue after Hurricane Sandy. The governor toured affected shoreline communities Wednesday. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

 

Governor Malloy began his tour in Stonington, battered by intense winds and flooded by storm surge during Sandy. Part of the town dock, home to the state’s only commercial fishing fleet, was washed away.

 

“’You got pounded huh?’

The parent company of Connecticut Light & Power says it will establish a ten million dollar fund to compensate residential customers who lost money as a result of the recent power outages. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Flickr Creative Commons, Steve Snodgrass

Jewett City, a community of 2.5 square miles in southeastern Connecticut, has its own power company, owned by the town. There are seven non-profit companies like this in the state. They're small, which means they can coordinate closely with other branches of government. Heck, they can coordinate with branches on trees.

Harriet Jones

Most storm clouds have a silver lining, and the freak October snowfall was no exception. Connecticut’s tree companies have work ahead of them for many, many months. 

In Vernon, Sue Peterson is surveying the scene of devastation in her front yard.

“It was huge Norway maple. Huge, huge tree.”

She was in the dark after her power failed on the Saturday night of the storm.

Tucker Ives

CL&P said they’d have power back on by Sunday night - but none of us - including Governor Malloy - were surprised when that didn’t happen. Now, Malloy is one of many state officials launching an investigation into the power company’s response. He’s hired former FEMA director James Lee Witt to oversee the investigation, which is due December 1.

The Courant’s Chris Keating still doesnt have power in Simsbury and we want to hear from you. How’s it looking in your town? We’ll have an update with Keating on power outages, lawsuits, investigations.

Still In The Dark

Nov 4, 2011
Chion Wolf

Governor Dannel Malloy deployed the troops six days after the snowstorm that tore down powerlines and left millions of Northeast residents in the dark.

Still, as of this morning, 300 thousand customers are without power in Connecticut - making the state the slowest to respond.  

Some residents in the hardest-hit areas are forming “vigilante” tree crews to clear debris - something that CL&P officials say could be dangerous.  

Chion Wolf

The Christian Science Monitor has this tale of the tape:

"Power outages in Connecticut hit 831,000 customers. As of Wednesday morning, power had been restored to about 284,000 of those customers – one-third of the peak."

In Massachusetts, 450,000 customers – almost two-thirds of the peak – had their power back Wednesday.

New Hampshire had 72 percent of outages fixed Wednesday.

What does all this mean? For the second straight major storm, Connecticut is the worst performing Northeast state at restoring power.

Chion Wolf

In the audio embedded here, you'll hear Wednesday afternoon interviews with Gov. Danel P. Malloy, energy and environment commissioner Dan Esty, a vice-president for CL&P, an electrical workers' union official, a key state legislator and a consultant on how utilities can change their infrastructure to make it more storm-resistant.

Flickr Creative Commons, Rhys Asplundh

So. Bought your generator yet? During the long power outage, everybody, it seemed, became a preparedness expert, if not an out and out survivalist. But it's a mentality you might find hard to hold on to. You have to buy food you're NOT going to eat right away.

Flickr Creative Commons, Bert Kaufmann

There are two Connecticuts right now. One has power and one doesn't. Actually, there might be even more Connecticuts than that, because within the group that has no power there are factions believing that other people are more likely to get their power back first because of socioeconomic status.

Earn $500 To Stay Cool

Jul 1, 2011
Nancy Eve Cohen

As the summer heats up the electric utilities in Connecticut are offering incentives to consumers to improve the efficiency of their central air conditioning systems, as well as their furnaces. WNPR’s Nancy Cohen reports.

Harriet Jones

A lot of effort in recent years has been focused on reducing US dependence on foreign oil. Not so much thought is given to making that oil last longer. One small North Stonington company sends technology around the world that does just that. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Electric Cars Power Up

May 5, 2011
JM Rosenfeld, Creative Commons

Earlier this week Connecticut Light & Power Co launched the "Plug My Ride'' campaign to increase awareness of electric and hybrid vehicles in the state.  This also kicked off a research project that aims to understand how an influx of electric vehicles in the near future will affect the region's power grid.   

We spoke with Watson Collins, the electric vehicles project manager for parent company Northeast Utilities, about the company's plans to install up to 30 charging stations by the end of the year.

Paul Cross, Creative Commons

The proposed merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR would create the third largest utility in the country and the largest in New England

NU of course is based in Connecticut and NStar in Massachusetts.  The companies would retain headquarters in both states, but the top executives would be in Boston.

So, what does this mean for you?

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