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Conn. A.G. Wants Utilities To Pay For Failed Response To Irene, Halloween Storm

Storm damage - Ridgefield, CT - Oct 29, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

Storm damage – Ridgefield, CT – Oct 29, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

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HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork/AP) - Connecticut’s Attorney General wants the state’s two major utilities to pay for what he called a failure to plan for and adequately respond to last year’s major storms.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau On The Story

The two storms – Tropical Storm Irene and the freak Halloween weekend snowstorm – each caused widespread power outages.

George Jepsen has called for stiff penalties from Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating.

“The penalties could exceed $100 million,” Jepsen told WCBS 880 Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau.

The state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority must give final approval to any penalties.

Jepsen said that, if approved, the $100 million in penalties would readjust rates, leaving the utility with less revenue going forward.

Jepsen said costs related to the utilities’ imprudence should not be passed on to rate payers.

He also said that that CL&P led customers to believe that power would be restored long before it actually was.

CL&P said that it would await the decision of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority before commenting publicly.

United Illuminating also declined to comment.

Do you think the utilities should be penalized? Sound off in the comments section below.