Earlier this week, Gov. Patrick signed St.2009, c.133: An Act Relative to Public Utility Companies. This new law is largely a reaction to the extended power outage in the Lunenburg area after last December's ice storm. According to the press release, the law "strengthens consumer protections, provides the necessary tools to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) to levy financial penalties if utilities do not follow approved storm plans, and puts into law existing requirements for utility storm restoration plans."
"This new law will help protect people when power outages due to extreme weather strike," Speaker Robert DeLeo said. "With its passage, Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray and I are standing together to ensure that the state has the right tools to address weather-related utility problems and that utilities make adequate plans to prepare for severe storms."
More information on utility service is available at our Mass. Law About Utility Service.