Raimondo: National Grid report shows utility ‘dropped the ball’ on storm response

National Grid Scituate substatio - photo Corey Welch

National Grid will face serious criticism over its handling of last October’s nor’easter when a state report on the utility is released next week, Gov. Gina Raimondo said Friday.

“They didn’t do a good job,” Raimondo told reporters. “They dropped the ball in a number of different ways.”

Raimondo ordered the R.I. Division of Public Utilities and Carriers to conduct the review after the Oct. 30 storm, which left tens of thousands of residents without power, in some cases for days.

The governor said she has been briefed on the findings, and is “disappointed in what the study revealed.”

“Grid has some work to do,” Raimondo said. “There’s definitely some areas where I think they could be doing a better job for ratepayers.” She said the utility needs to improve its internal processes and technology, and communicate with the public more clearly during and after storms.

The report will include a number of steps the state can take to make National Grid improve its storm response, she said.

“Rhode Islanders deserve better service,” Raimondo said. “We pay a lot of money – some of the highest electricity rates in the country – and we deserve the best.”

A National Grid spokesman declined to comment.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) covers politics and the economy for WPRI.com. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

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