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CL&P To Give Customers Bill Credits for Outages

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. – Connecticut Light & Power residential customers who were still without power one week after the pre-Halloween storm will be eligible for a credit on their bill, the utility's parent company announced Tuesday. The credit will range from a minimum of $100 to a maximum of $200 under a $30 million fund to be created by Northeast Utilities.

“As we heard from our customers and had discussions with Gov. Malloy and his staff, it became clear that the original sum we proposed, $10 million, was insufficient,” Charles Shivery, president and CEO of Hartford-based Northeast Utilities, said in a statement Tuesday. “While this storm was unprecedented, we set very high expectations for the performance of Connecticut Light & Power. Clearly, we did not meet a number of those expectations.”

The credit will apply to residential customers who were without power after noon on Nov. 5 as a result of the storm. The amount of the credit will depend on how many eligible customers apply.

Northeast Utilities also plans to make donations of up to $5 million to the Connecticut Food Bank, Foodshare and Operation Fuel to help the organizations address community needs in this winter. Each will receive $1 million, with additional funds to be determined at the end of January.

“The unprecedented storm created substantial hardships for many people, despite the extraordinary efforts of our employees and contractors,” said Shivery, adding that the utility has taken “a series of steps” to improve performance.

These steps include providing tree crews to communities, creation of a new position of senior vice president for emergency preparedness, and the commission of an external review of CL&P preparation and storm response, in addition to the yet-to-be-announced appointment of a new president. CL&P’s CEO Jeff Butler resigned on Nov. 17 in the wake of the public outcry over the utility’s response to the late summer and pre-Halloween storms.

The fund will be open for application beginning Wednesday, Dec.7. At that time, CL&P will begin contacting qualified customers to inform them of their eligibility to apply for the credit. Qualified customers can choose to apply at www.cl-p.com or by calling 888-566-9257. All applications must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 31, 2012. Credits will begin to be applied to the customer’s February billing statement.

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