For NStar, the blackout comes at a time when the utility, and others, are waiting to hear about fines related to their poor response to Tropical Storm Irene and an October 2011 snowstorm.
Attorney General Martha Coakley, the state’s ratepayer advocate, recommended fining NStar $9.7 million for its performance in those storms. She also requested a record $16.3 million fine for National Grid and a $4 million fine for Western Massachusetts Electric Co. However, state utility regulators have not yet acted on those requests.
NStar has also been under a microscope in recent months because of its nearly $20 billion merger with the larger Northeast Utilities in Connecticut. The partnership, approved in April, was heralded as a deal that would give NStar more money to invest in system improvements and more crews to fix power outages.