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Marconi Wants CL&P to Help Provide Generators

First Selectman Rudy Marconi told Connecticut Light & Power to start a program so state residents can purchase generators.

Tropical Storm Sandy left most of Ridgefield without power in October, and First Selectman Rudy Marconi wants to help residents keep the lights on.

According to the News Times, Marconi wrote to Connecticut Light & Power to urge the utility company to implement a program that would provide generators to customers.

Rather than paying the cost of a generator up front -- about $500 for a basic unit -- Marconi said CL&P should use its purchasing power to get such generators at a lower prices.

It could then sell them to customers, letting them pay through monthly installments added to their electricity bills.

A spokesperson said that the program is “worth consideration.”

Generators were a hot commodity during the height of the storm’s damage. Home Depot stores in the northeast received 750 truckloads of generators and other supplies. 

DMANC November 27, 2012 at 01:14 PM
That is an awesome idea ! I hear people are having trouble buying generators. There are none in stock !
Stefanie Putkowski November 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
What about those of us who -- in desparation -- purchased a generator AFTER this latest weather disaster, paying full price -- in preparation for the next one? How will CL&P help us?
Leoj November 27, 2012 at 02:58 PM
How about Rudy just offering some property tax credit for those that buy a permantly installed generator ... he can do that immediately vs. political grand standing in Hartford.
paul d. November 27, 2012 at 03:03 PM
@LeoJ- Why a tax credit- when we should get it from the state regulated company that made $873m in profits last year with no regard for quality of service. And yes, CL&P should give an equivalent credit to those who already have generators. Talk to your state legislatures. Don't put this on the local governments.... they didn't screw up the maintenance and restoration of service.
Naive_In_R November 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM
This idea strikes me as so naive. The power company is now suppose to go into the home hardware business? What's next, are you going to ask Comcast to buy flat screen TVs in bulk? Maybe my doctor should be asked to buy Advil; in bulk and then setup a retail drugstore in his office. Naive, naive, naive. Let's see, buy generators in bulk. Setup locations for distribution, make monthly payments.... I know... let's call the entire enterprise.... HOME DEPOT! Doh! Home Depot buys in bulk, has many locations in the state and you can pay monthly using your credit card. Rudy wants CL&P to become likel Home Depot? Why would CL&P do this? They are in the power distribution business, they are not about to turn themselves into a massive hardware store. So naive.
Buck November 27, 2012 at 04:50 PM
It’s worse than naïve, because it does nothing to address the problem that causes the power outages, which is that there are entirely too many trees in too close proximity to the above-ground power lines. It is treating the symptom, not the disease. We need to cull the trees and bury the lines. Until that happens we will have to endure repeated and widespread power outages. If Rudy wants to do something worthwhile, he can start by having the town pass an ordinance that fines anyone on whose property a tree takes out a power line a substantial sum, on the order of $5,000. Then he can support a monthly charge per residence by CL&P—say, $2.00—with the funds being designated solely for burying the electrical wires. You would see trees start to come down immediately. Burying the power lines would obviously take longer. But I’d rather see my money being used on something that is going to fix the problem, not just paper over it.
Jan Rifkinson November 27, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Good going Buck. Then we can change the town's name to Levittown or something g less melodic. However, I do agree that the answer does not lie with the First Selectman. IMO it lies with an irresponsible company which is more interested in PR.than preparation.
Thomas Soukup November 27, 2012 at 06:56 PM
So with all the trees down and the roads blocked, how do the good folks of Ridgefield find their way to a station to buy gas to power their generators? This all assumes the gas station has power to run the pumps in the first place. Human nature what it is, the last few gallons of gas were most likely used to run the lawn mower the previous Summer. People have lost the concept of providing for themselves and expect government or big business to hold their hand.Such creative ideas of self reliance should start in the First Selectman's Office where if we can get away from tax and spend waste, we just may be able to solve a few problems on our own.
Thomas Soukup November 27, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Buck From what I saw MOST of the tree damage which took down the the power lines were on the same shared property easements, not actually owned by individuals, but rather the town or some municipality.So who pays whom Buck?
Mark1974 November 27, 2012 at 07:46 PM
I'm not normally one to say bad things about other people but boy am I getting fed up with how this town is run. Silly pointless ideas about the power company giving us generators. We are ruining Main Street with condos while Marconi looks the other way. The library moved to Hey Day market months ago yet there is still no construction going on. A year ago I almost fell out of my truck when I saw town crews cutting the grass at Veterans Park while the rest of the town had no power. Maybe it's time for a change around here.
Thomas Soukup November 27, 2012 at 08:53 PM
A change indeed !!!!!!!!!
Buck November 27, 2012 at 10:35 PM
From what I read there were something like 127 roads in town closed due to downed trees after Sandy passed through, and 100% of the town was without power. You can blame CL&P all you want. They are a convenient scapegoat. But that was not CL&P’s fault. And removing the trees that are adjacent to the power lines wouldn’t be deforesting the town; rather, it would be a beautification project. Most are old and diseased anyway, which is why they are blown down in storms. As for trees on town-owned land, last I checked we had a tree warden whose job it is to take care of those. Mark1974 is right. We need a change. Rudy’s a nice guy, but if asking CL&P to subsidize generators is his idea of a solution, he is unserious, and the town can expect Irene ’11 and Sandy ’12 to be repeated with TBN ’13 and TBN ’14 and … .
Richard Legere November 28, 2012 at 12:43 AM
No matter what you do, even if CL&P cleared all of the trees in CT within falling distance of its power lines (and that will help with climate change I’m sure), we will still get outages from things like ice storms and accidents. The USA grid is immeasurably vulnerable to terrorist threats be it a domestic or foreign threat. Space does not permit anything but a simple analogy. Remember the old days of IBM mainframes? When the system crashed, it is pretty much what we have now from CL&P and NU – a mainframe oriented power grid design. Eisenhower Kennedy era technology. No matter how much Smart Grid marketing lipstick they smear on their pig, it still oinks. I spent 30 years as a risk analyst for specialty insurers, the problem is the CL&P system itself; i.e. I know a pig when I see one. The answer is small micro grids and opening up the power monopoly. CL&P and NU won’t voluntarily change, They make money in good time or bad and we are forced to live with a Frankenstein system that Socializes all of the costs and Privatizes the money and profits. Over 70% of NU’s investor base is comprised of the big NYC investment houses and money funds. Let oure free enterprise system go to work and develop independent and competitive microgrids. Make our legislators actually do the public service part of their job for the public good, and not a giant corporation. Look up which states have the highest cost per kilowatt in the USA, CT and MA have to lead the change.
John Symon November 28, 2012 at 12:57 AM
Rudy like to point fingers and divert attention from his own shortfalls. The tree warden requested an additional $125,000 lastyear (after the two storms) to take down rotten trees on town roads and additional trimming. I'm a spendthrift (my wife would say cheap) but what's $125k with a budget the size of Ridgefield's? Will he again turn away the tree warden this year? It's just like the essentially non-existant road paving program. Kick the can down the road, Rudy. The day will come soon when we will need to pay up -- and big!
Leoj November 28, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Paul ... That company doesn't owe you sit. Disconnect if you want ... But ... You live and own this town and the odds of CL&P giving generators is zip. Rudy is just pretending to be relevant for the politics of it.

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