BOSTON (AP) _ Attorney General Martha Coakley has launched a review of standards used to measure the overall service quality of local utility companies to determine if they are adequate.

Coakley decided to open the review after power outages that left thousands without electricity across the state last year.
Currently, utility companies are evaluated yearly by the Department of Public Utilities using a set of standards designed to
make sure the companies are maintaining an acceptable level of preparedness for storms and responsiveness to customers.

Utilities also receive incentive payments for meeting those standards and can improve their scores by focusing on areas
unrelated to system reliability, such as reducing the number of rings before customer calls are answered.

Coakley wants to know whether that data provides adequate information for state regulators.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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