SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP.com) - Three utility companies in our state have to pay up after their poor response to two storms last year.
Attorney General Martha Coakley says the companies lacked communication and coordination, and now customers deserve a break.
The Department of Public Utilities is less than impressed with Massachusetts utility companies, after their sub-par response to last year's October Snow and Tropical Storm Irene.
The storms knocked out power for hundreds of thousands of people, and now the state wants them to pay, $24 million dollars combined.
"Well I'm glad, we were without power for 8 days and you froze," said Springfield's Lea Weaver.
"A lot of people did lose power and there was a lot of damage done to their homes," said West Springfield's Theresa Hebert.
National Grid has to pay the most, more than $18 million dollars, about $4 million for NSTAR and $2 million for Western Mass. Electric Company.
Only the state doesn't want the money, it wants each company to find a way to pay the money to rate payers.
The utility companies have 30 days to come up with a plan with respect to how they'll give the money back to the rate payers. At that point the DPU can either approve it, or send them back to the drawing board.
Still, even those who sat in the dark for days aren't sold they'll catch a break.
"I think we're going to end up paying for it in the long run. I'm not skeptical, it may not happen, but if history means anything, it will," said West Springfield's Norman Blair.
Western Mass. Electric Company and NSTAR plan to appeal the fines, while some rate payers think they should cough it up.
"I think they should pay for the consequences. Think of it as a learning experience," said West Springfield's Taylor Walker.
22News asked WMECO for an on-camera interview to ask more questions about how this could effect its customers and they declined.
They referred us to their statement .