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Will Tewksbury Residents Foot The Bill For Blackouts?

Power companies indicate they intend to pass along the cost of repairs to its customers.

In 2011, Tewksbury residents spent many days and nights in the dark.

They might spend a good portion of 2012 and 2013 in the red.

According to a report by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, the three major power companies in New England (National Grid, NStar and Western Massachusetts Electric) intend to slap their customers with the $160-190 million repair bill associated with the 2011 storms/blackout.

Details of how those costs will be passed along have not yet been determined, according to the report, which was published by the Boston Channel.

Ultimately, the decision to allow rate increases for the major utilities rests in the hands of the state Department of Public Utilities. However, they have rarely rejected rate increased tied to major repair costs.

Tewksbury was hit hard twice by major power outages. the first came in August, as the Tropical Storm Irene (downgraded from Hurricane status) rolled across the region.

The second came just two months later with the "Snowtober" storm that knocked out power to 90 percent of Tewksbury for several days in later October and early November. Some customers were without power for nearly two weeks. At the worst of the "Snowtober" disaster, approximately 1.4 million customers were without power in New England.

According to the New England Center for Investigative Reporting report, there have been eight major power outages in Massachusetts since 2007.

By comparison, there were just two major outages from 2001-2006, according to the report.

Dirk Anderson February 21, 2012 at 09:24 PM
Twice this year I lost power for over 2 days. They owe me 2 refrigerators full of food!!! What really annoyed me both times was the prerecorded message telling me I could expect power to be returned sometime between now and July of 2018.
SoxFan February 21, 2012 at 11:07 PM
You are right that the main cause was because of less trimming.. but National Grid only cut back trimming because cities, towns, and citizens forced them to do it. They'd obviously rather spend a little to trim in advance of storms instead of spending a lot to clean up and restore after storms. People complain that the trees are being cut too much, their privacy is being intruded upon.. yet they want the limbs to magically stay away from the utility lines. You can't have it both ways.
Steve McMahan February 22, 2012 at 03:42 PM
Stop crying about your lost food, it's futile. We'll never defeat a big slumbering utility giant. Invest in a large generator that can carry your entire house.
SoxFan February 22, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Get a decent cooler and some ice.. we saved everything but the ice cream.
Bob February 22, 2012 at 08:56 PM
SoxFan, give me a shout next time and I will personally take care of the ice cream for you! I am a giver that way.

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