Providence – Citing massive power outages for thousands of Rhode Islanders, alongside National Grid’s pending request for a rate increase, Representative Aaron Regunberg is calling for a House Oversight Committee investigation into the utility’s long-term planning and preparedness for the increasing frequency of events like Friday’s storm.

“Today thousands of Rhode Islanders are still without power, and tonight too many streets will still be dark. Our families and seniors should not be living in the dark for days on end every other month. Frontline utility workers and professionals are giving their all under extreme stress in dangerous conditions to restore power to our neighborhoods, and I am so grateful for their work. However, our families and our seniors can not be living in the dark and cold for days on end every other month. We know that due to climate change the frequency and severity of storms is only expected to increase. These outages and the threat of yet another storm this week remind us of the necessity of reforms and safeguards to prevent this from becoming the new normal. That is why I am calling for the House Oversight Committee to launch a full investigation into National Grid’s long term planning and preparedness for this new reality. I have spoken with members of the committee this weekend and am hopeful we are ready to push for answers.”

At the State House, Representative Regunberg is working on long-term utilities reform. He is the lead sponsor of H7674, legislation that would create a public not-for-profit utilities model to provide residents greater transparency and control over their rates and services. “Rhode Islanders deserve to know that their ratepayer dollars are going towards improving the services we receive. We need a system built from the ground up on accountability, efficiency, and transparency,” Rep. Regunberg said.