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Eversource CEO expects PURA to allow ratepayers to reimburse utility for storm response

Eversource CEO James Judge told industry analysts this week that the utility expects Connecticut regulators to eventually allow the company to recover costs related to Tropical Storm Isaias from ratepayers. 

Bethel state Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan said Eversource had audacity to expect the approval.  He noted that the utility made $1.2 billion in profit last year.  He pledged to push state regulators to issue a hard no on the reimbursement. 

The Office of Consumer Counsel called on  the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority not to approve costs assigned to ratepayers when the utilities were at fault in preparing for the storm.  PURA is investigating utility response to the August 4th storm and has not yet begun considering how much ratepayers will be required to pay for power restoration. Eversource is protesting regulators’ demands for cost details as part of the probe. 

The Courant reports that $206 million of the $230 million cost was for contractors and vendors.  The breakdown was $31 million for labor, $13 million for food and lodging, $7 million for payroll overhead and $6 million for materials.  In the PURA filing Eversource estimates at least $75 million is not yet billed by outside vendors, about 40% of external crew costs.