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Northeast Utilities (NU) Units Plan To Appeal DPU Finding Over Storm Penalty

 December 11, 2012 01:30 PM
 


(By Balaseshan) Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) said its units Western Massachusetts Electric Co. and NSTAR Electric plan to appeal a Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities finding on storm penalties.

Western Massachusetts Electric (WMECo) and NSTAR Electric intend to appeal a ruling issued Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities assessing financial penalties for its response following the devastating October snowstorm that swept through the region last fall.

Having deployed over a thousand resources to restore power around the clock, including hundreds of crews and other support personnel, WMECo completed its response to emergencies, damage assessment activities and power restoration in a safe, responsible and methodical way under extremely difficult conditions.

[Related -Stock Upgrades And Downgrades: CAT, CRUS, ITC, NCR, NU, POM, YHOO]

The department's decision affirmed that WMECo followed its emergency response plan, which is submitted to the DPU and approved on an annual basis, but nevertheless assessed penalties for response times to municipal requests for assistance, which were not regulated by the plan.

NSTAR was one of the first investor-owned utilities to restore power to its customers in both storms and was able to send 76 line workers to assist National Grid and Western Massachusetts Electric in the wake of the October snowstorm.

NSTAR repeated that performance during the recent Superstorm Sandy, being one of the first to complete restoration and again sending crews to other areas. NSTAR deployed thousands of resources, including hundreds of crews and other support personnel, around the clock to restore power in all of the storms.

[Related -13 Highest Dividend Paying Diversified Utilities]

While the entire Northeast has experienced above-average storm activity over the last few years, NSTAR remains a top decile performer in restoration and reliability during both storm and non-storm conditions.

The department's decision affirmed that NSTAR followed its emergency response plan, which is submitted to the DPU and approved on an annual basis, but nevertheless assessed penalties for response times to municipal requests for assistance, which were not regulated by the plan.

NU is trading up 1.23% at $39.62 on Tuesday. The stock has been trading between $33.48 and $40.86 for the past 52 weeks.

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