Monday, August 29, 2011

NSTAR outages

Here are emails I've sent to my distribution list regarding NSTAR outages. Sign up for emails at

NSTAR: 84,000 residential customers without power

August 30, 2011 at 8:15am: NSTAR is making significant progress (by their accounting), having cut their residential power outages by one-half since yesterday. Their website ( indicates that they are down to 16,000 customers without power on Cape Cod.

Still, as of this morning, they are advising a September 3rd (Saturday) 10pm timeframe for repairing circuits for all customers who call in. This is the crux of the problem; if I knew Saturday was an accurate date, I would pack up and leave for a few days. We know from the restoration of power since yesterday that Saturday is not accurate.

I know a number of people who work for NSTAR on the repair crews and they are full out, moving from place to place restoring power. I have no beef with the crews. My complaint is that NSTAR is choosing to keep us in the dark regarding the priorities by town by outage area.

I'm not asking for definitive dates and times for turning the power back on for each customer. I realize that each situation presents its own challenges. What I'm asking for is a priority list with information on which projects are currently being worked, which are next on the list, and the estimated overall time to restore power for all projects. This would give everyone enough information to make decisions. As it is now, no one knows if their power is likely to be back on in an hour or three days.

I'll be looking into best practices for reporting such activities and talking to appropriate utility officials to create a more useful and transparent system for reporting progress to customers.

NSTAR: 162,000 residential customers without power

August 29, 2011 at 8:00pm: According to a chart on NSTAR's website (see, 162,215 residential customers in Massachusetts are without power as of 7pm tonight.

One must assume they mean 7pm on Monday, August 29th. The chart has no date or time and has multiple entries for several towns.

Based on what I know about the situation in Sandwich, the numbers seem optimistic. Their estimate of repair time is "several days."

As soon as I am able to speak with someone at NSTAR, I'll provide an update.

NSTAR is announcing power to be out in Forestdale until Saturday 10pm

August 29, 2011 at 5:30pm: A recorded message at the NSTAR customer service line is telling people that power in Forestdale is going to be restored by 10pm on Saturday.

I was down on Pimlico Pond Road tonight talking with the NSTAR employee sitting in his car (since 1pm) and he thought that this was an area of high priority and guessed that the recorded message was giving a worst case scenario. While I was there, a Bartlett Tree Service truck pulled up to remove a tree hanging on the wires there.

At this point, I would expect that there is a logistical plan in place and that they should have a better idea of when the repairs will be made. I have contacted the chairmen of our Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy Committee (of which I'm a member) to see if I can get a better contact person's name within NSTAR to query. I will let you know what I find out.

If the repairs actually won't happen until Saturday, I would like to know that. I wouldn't be happy with that answer, but knowing that it's a most likely date rather than a CYA response would allow people in the area to make alternate plans.

I will send another email as soon as I know more. Please relay this information to anyone you know who remains without power in Forestdale and please let me know if there are any other areas within my state rep district without electricity.


  1. East Sandwich ResidentAugust 30, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    Would you be able to find out about the areas in East Sandwich(Great Hills neightborhood) that have been out since 7am on Saturday??

  2. NSTAR is not releasing information about where crews are and which projects are next on the list.

    This is the big failing. The crews are working full out but we're being kept in the dark about who is next on the repair list


I monitor all comments. As long as there are no personally defamatory statements and/or foul language, I'll post your comment. For this reason, your comment will not appear instantaneously. To comment without registering, choose Name/URL and type a screen name (or your real name if you like) into the Name field. Leave the URL field blank.