Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Massachusetts senators Scott Brown and John Kerry ask for review of nation's electric grid.
A number of U.S. senators, including Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), have called for a review of the nation's electric grid reliability in the wake of multiple, lengthy outages. The senators issued their call in a letter to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Wrentham has seen multi-day outages this year, following Tropical Storm Irene and the snowstorm in October. The outages, and a perceived delayed response from National Grid, caused anger at the utility company. The snowstorm left more than 672,000 customers without power in Massachusetts. Brown said in a statement that a reliable grid is important to public safety and area businesses. "This year, Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm caused …
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Utility hearing will be held on Dec. 1 at the Attleboro High School.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
The Department of Public Utilities will hold a public hearing in Attleboro on the performance of the utility companies after Tropical Storm Irene, according to a release from State Sen. Richard Ross' office. The hearing will be held on Dec. 1 at 7pm at the Attleboro High School. "I am pleased that DPU has provided an additional opportunity for the residents of my district to share their concerns regarding the power companies' performance," Ross said in a statment. "Given the fact that the original hearing was canceled due to power outages following a storm, it is more important than ever that DPU understand the issues faced by the communities." "These issues must be dealt with before the next storm hits the Commonwealth," he added. The …
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Superintendent talks about district response, shelter possibility.
Wrentham Elementary Superintendent Jeffrey Marsden recapped the district's response to the October snowstorm at Tuesday's school committee meeting. The district missed two days of school as a result of the storm. Marden said the presence of a National Grid liaison in town was helpful, but he felt more could have been done. "From my own perspective, there was not a lot of planning in terms of having crews in Massachusetts," he said. "They had crews from places like Missouri, who have to drive here." Committee Chairman Edward Goddard said he believed such issues will happen again. "Utilities are really bare-bones now," he said. "They're not going to have crews waiting around... that's why we're going to have more of these." Marsden said the …
Concerned Foxborough residents seek immediate change, voice concerns to National Grid representatives.
Angry and concerned Foxborough residents let their feelings be known about their displeasure over the power problems that the entire town has been experiencing over the last several months at Tuesday night's National Grid Q&A with the town's board of selectmen. "Go home tonight [National Grid] and think about those people here tonight [with troubling stories during the outage]. Its about those people who could have lost their lives due to National Grid's negligence," said Foxborough resident Deborah Stewart. National Grid's standard answer to each and every voiced concerned was, "we do not control the weather." Frustrated Foxborough residents while agreeing that they do not control the weather said that they do control the power and need …
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The option of a Wrentham municipal utility has been suggested, but obstacles abound.
The idea of creating a municipal power utility in Wrentham has gained traction in the wake of two storms that caused prolonged outages. National Grid, which provides power to the town, announced completed restoration to Massachusetts customers on Sunday, a week after the Snowtober storm. Most of Wrentham did not have power until Wednesday, and some did not see it return until days after that. Wrentham Town Administrator William Ketcham has said the idea of a municipal utility is still out there, but said the process for doing so is difficult. "There are some issues created by the present state of Massachusetts law," he said. "There are amendments that have been introduced in the legislature [to make the establishment of municipal utilities…
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Sen. Scott Brown has endorsed State Rep. Dan Winslow's power outage rebate bill.
State Rep. Daniel Winslow (R-Norfolk) is getting attention for a bill he proposed that would require utility companies to provide rebates for long power outages. Winslow said he proposed the bill after the outages caused by Tropical Storm Irene. "It would require the utilities to rebate customers two days for every one day where they went more than eight hours without power," he said. "The utilities are a monopoly — they're not subject to competitive pressures." He said this bill would incentivize companies to aggressively trim tree limbs and upgrade their power stations. Winslow pointed to the town of Princeton, Mass. as an example. He said Princeton's municipal electrical department worked aggressively after Irene devastated its lines, …
The town looks at its response to the snowstorm.
As Wrentham wraps up its recovery from the late October snowstorm, the town is looking at its response to the event. The storm, like Tropical Storm Irene before it, caused a protracted power outage in the town. It caused multiple power lines to go down, and made several roads nearly impassable with downed tree limbs. Town Administrator William Ketcham said there had been lessons learned from Irene. He said the major improvement involved communication with the utility companies. "This time, there was a utility liaison sent to Wrentham on Sunday, the day after the storm," he said. "With Irene, it was three days later." "Having a person here was a big help," he added. Ketcham said road-clearing had also improved. "All the streets were open to…
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Winslow urges action on power outage rebate legislation.
A local legislator has called for utility companies to take responsibility for extended outages. State Rep. Daniel Winslow (R-Norfolk) has asked the House Rules Committee to take action on a power outage rebate bill. According to a release from Winslow's office, the bill would require rebates to customers who go without power for more than eight hours. The rebate would be for two days of their average bill for each day the customer is without power. "Right now, more than 90 percent of the residents in Wrentham are without power for an extended period of time for the second time in three months," Winslow said in a statement. "We need to make sure the residents of Massachusetts are being taken care of and the utility companies are held …
Fourth day after Snowtober storm.
Though much of the town has seen power restored, some remain without in this fourth day of the snowstorm recovery. As of 9am, National Grid was reporting that 649 of its 4,644 Wrentham customers remained without power. At the outage's peak, about 4,316 customers in town were without power. The company expects full restoration by late Thursday. The town's two school districts — Wrentham elementary and King Philip — resumed session today after two days off. National Grid officials urged safety during the power restoration, asking that people treat every downed wire as if it were live. They asked that people report downed lines to 1 (800) 465-1212.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
National Grid Massachusetts president talks about continued efforts to restore power to Wrentham, other communities.
The president of the state National Grid branch said Tuesday afternoon that the unusual nature of Saturday's snowstorm led to the protracted power outages in Wrentham and other communities. Marcy Reed, president of National Grid Massachusetts, said the recent lengthy outages have been because of the severity of the storms, not responsiveness issues. "This storm was different, because the snow was so heavy and so wet, and trees still had leaves on them, so they were at their weakest," she said. "The devastation has been remarkably similiar to Irene." She said she would not expect the same problems during regular winter storms. Reed said she had been speaking with customers and public officials since the storm struck, and understands their …