Attorney General Press Release Header
January 4, 2012



(HARTFORD) – Attorney General George Jepsen today praised state utility regulators for a draft decision that would enable a state review of the proposed merger of Northeast Utilities and NSTAR, a Boston-based utility holding company.

In a draft decision issued Wednesday, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority reconsidered its earlier position and decided it did have authority to review the proposed merger, which would create one of the largest utility companies in the country.

PURA said it was “legally obliged to review the proposed merger to ensure that after any resulting merger [NU’s Connecticut Light & Power Co. and Yankee Gas Co. subsidiaries] will have the qualifications and ability to provide safe, adequate, reliable and reasonably-priced services for Connecticut customers.” A final decision is anticipated Jan. 18.

Attorney General Jepsen said, “I am pleased that the PURA has decided to review the proposed merger of NU/NSTAR. The PURA has correctly decided that this merger requires Connecticut review and approval before it may go forward. The proposed merger combines the region’s largest utility companies and will have profound impacts on Connecticut and its electric and gas companies, including their rates, reliability, quality of service and storm response.”

“While this new draft decision is a very positive step, I will ask the PURA to incorporate a critical further protection in its final decision – an order that the merger may not occur before PURA completes its full review and issues a final decision. Connecticut’s consumers deserve a meaningful, thorough review process. It is important that the review look not only at how the new company will be structured and how it will operate, but also determine what conditions need to be in place to ensure NU’s Connecticut customers share in any benefits,” Jepsen said.

The Attorney General had filed a number of comments with PURA previously urging the agency to act. He said the “change in control” of NU’s management and corporate structure, and the effect on NU’s Connecticut subsidiaries, necessitated PURA’s review. In addition, he said, the utility’s preparation for and response to Tropical Storm Irene and the October snow storm raised a significant issue about the utility’s management and its executive leadership that needed to be addressed by the regulators.

Assistant Attorney Generals John Wright and Michael Wertheimer are handing this matter for the Attorney General with Associate Attorney General Joseph Rubin. Assistant Attorney General Clare Kindall, head of the Energy Department, represents PURA.


Media Contact:

Susan E. Kinsman

860-808-5324 (office)

860-478-9581 (cell)

Consumer Inquiries:


Facebook: Attorney General George Jepsen

Twitter: @AGJepsen