United against Unitil - Sentinel & Enterprise

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Two years after the devastating ice storm of 2008, Central Massachusetts residents are still speaking up for change.
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1 - 20 of 83 Comments Last updated Dec 20, 2010
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Fizbo

Leominster, MA

#1 Dec 13, 2010
"Thanks" NOT, for your support
Flanagan and Benson...
Enlightened

Concord, MA

#2 Dec 13, 2010
Seriously. We all lived through the ice storm. It was horrible. But, really, move on! There has got to be more to life than one utility company. And raising rates??? What rock have these people been under? EVERY company is downsizing and raising prices because of the economy. I think that people need to take some personal responsibility for their lives and appreciate what they have.
Patricia Rossner

Fitchburg, MA

#3 Dec 13, 2010
We knew it was going to come down to this,they want us to pay for there mistakes from two years ago.OUT WITH UNITIL
The Insider

Marion, MA

#4 Dec 13, 2010
Enlightened wrote:
Seriously. We all lived through the ice storm. It was horrible. But, really, move on! There has got to be more to life than one utility company. And raising rates??? What rock have these people been under? EVERY company is downsizing and raising prices because of the economy. I think that people need to take some personal responsibility for their lives and appreciate what they have.
I agree. Everyone whom lives in New England should always be prepared for a long term power outage. People in New Orleans thought we were cry babies. They lost everything and for more than 2 weeks ! If Unitil did leave what will these people protest? They have to have some outlet to get them into the spotlight and in the newspaper. Rates will always rise they will never go down.
Eyes

Leominster, MA

#5 Dec 13, 2010
Well, here we are again. There must be some Unitil stock holders writing in to mimimize the loss of power and poor record of Unitil.
Here on our street in Lunenburg we have lost power over nine times since July. I am not talking short blips, but hours or more. The generator never rests at our house. Good to see that Unitil has improved things. Could we get one of the executives to move here? Only then might we see improvement. We continue to pay high prices for lousy service, why not more in the future?
The Voices In Your Head

Boston, MA

#6 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. Everyone whom lives in New England should always be prepared for a long term power outage. People in New Orleans thought we were cry babies. They lost everything and for more than 2 weeks ! If Unitil did leave what will these people protest? They have to have some outlet to get them into the spotlight and in the newspaper. Rates will always rise they will never go down.
For an insider... You're not very knowledgeable :)
Mt Woman

Fitchburg, MA

#7 Dec 13, 2010
Two years ago I was one of the protesters, attending standouts and meetings. I spoke out at the meetings held by Fitchburg's City Council and at the DPW meeting when Martha Coakley addressed the group with her pretend ire. Yes, she was going to get to the bottom of the problems with Unitil and was going to make things right for the rate payers. Well, I'm still waiting and queue the crickets. After two years, Martha Coakley was reelected as Attorney General and Unitil has not had to make any reparations to those who lost--and we all lost something. Many had up to two weeks of unpaid days off from work, we faced expenses from hotel bills, eating out at fast food restaurants, purchase of extra wood, pellets etc for heating, many even had to purchase a generator and gas to run it. Additionally many homeowners had to pay thousands on tree work and cleanup and plumbing to repair burst pipes that was not covered by homeowners insurance. Not one red cent was recovered by those who had to put out thousands of dollars all that was due to the negligent actions of Unitil. Thanks Martha, some may have short memory, but not me. I did my best to vote you out of office, but I guess others forget easily and quickly. I'm not a fan of Unitil, they were negligent and it showed during this emergency. But the government is there to hold utility companies responsible and Martha and Company, Deval, Jennifer, Jenn etc were all PATHETIC--just words!!!
Shaking My Head

Oakham, MA

#8 Dec 13, 2010
Eyes wrote:
Well, here we are again. There must be some Unitil stock holders writing in to mimimize the loss of power and poor record of Unitil.
Here on our street in Lunenburg we have lost power over nine times since July. I am not talking short blips, but hours or more. The generator never rests at our house. Good to see that Unitil has improved things. Could we get one of the executives to move here? Only then might we see improvement. We continue to pay high prices for lousy service, why not more in the future?
I totally agree. We pay outrageous amounts of money for some of the worst electricity service in the nation. Anyone who calls us cry babies is missing the point. I work very hard for my money and I don't like throwing it away on corporations like Unitil.

I applaud the protesters. I can't believe our rates are going higher. I get sick every time I pay my electric bill. Unitil has sucked the life out of me, and I'll be happy to move out of Fitchburg and be done with Unitil. House goes on the market today - and I'm not joking.
Unitil hired bloggers

Clinton, MA

#9 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. Everyone whom lives in New England should always be prepared for a long term power outage. People in New Orleans thought we were cry babies. They lost everything and for more than 2 weeks ! If Unitil did leave what will these people protest? They have to have some outlet to get them into the spotlight and in the newspaper. Rates will always rise they will never go down.
Ahh, must be easy sitting back in your office acting like there is actually someone who lives in this region that will believe you. Perhaps Dr. Antonucci will give you a discount on the next psychology 101 class.

Here's some FACTS....Unitil= some of the HIGHEST rates in the NATION; the MUNI bill which Unitil hasn't "looked in to" (except for lobbyists they paid to make it go away) will at the mere passing offer choice in utilities.

"These People" are just a small drop of the THOUSANDS of ratepayers that want Unitil GONE. THEY represent BUSINESS owners, homeowners of every income level and race, think again that this will all go away by you trashing people that are standing up for justice.

In it to win it and it WILL happen, "it's that simple"!
Runkachenko

Fitchburg, MA

#10 Dec 13, 2010
Unitil hired bloggers wrote:
<quoted text>
Ahh, must be easy sitting back in your office acting like there is actually someone who lives in this region that will believe you. Perhaps Dr. Antonucci will give you a discount on the next psychology 101 class.
Here's some FACTS....Unitil= some of the HIGHEST rates in the NATION; the MUNI bill which Unitil hasn't "looked in to" (except for lobbyists they paid to make it go away) will at the mere passing offer choice in utilities.
"These People" are just a small drop of the THOUSANDS of ratepayers that want Unitil GONE. THEY represent BUSINESS owners, homeowners of every income level and race, think again that this will all go away by you trashing people that are standing up for justice.
In it to win it and it WILL happen, "it's that simple"!
If you people truely want a change in electric supplier they you better hope and pray that National Grid or some other large company buys out the territory. Cuz wake up people if you think the towns around here, many already on the brink of bankruptcy can run an electric company for a day you are out of your minds. Ms.Clark advocates this, sure it may look good on paper but ask yourself if you think your town could do better in an absolute disaster like the ice storm. It is ironic that the protest yesterday saw a rain storm of 3.5 inches.Had it been a little colder we would be in the same situation again. Can the four towns service by Unitil survie a 20 million dollar storm? So again folks WAKE UP and let it go.
no wonder

Northampton, MA

#11 Dec 13, 2010
unitil has suckked the life out of every thing it services.from the home owner to big business.no wonder there are no good jobs left here,they got the life suckked out of them,they had to relocate to survive and stay in business. as far as unitil leaveing the area ,no one in business would leave behind this kind of money,there would be to many companys trying to take there place.
Argentina

Concord, MA

#12 Dec 13, 2010
If you think having the city manage your electric company is somehow going to magically transform your life then I got a bridge on 5th st to sell you.

The #1 reason that all of you are so pissed about the ice storm *still* is that it exposed your total lack of preparedness. Like the people in LA you sat around waiting for someone to come along and make it better.

Unitil may have been unprepared during the ice storm, however their issues did not cost nearly as much down time as most people like to think. If your power was out for 10 days Unitil's bungling probably cost you a day....after 9 days whats another day or two?

Hey guess what...its winter again has everyone prepared? Here's a checklist for the ignorant:

"Bug out" Supplies (going to stay with someone):
+ Tools and skill to drain your pipes
+ 1 gallon of RV antifreeze for your toilets
+ Container to store your frozen foods outside
+ Flashlight so you can secure your home before leaving
+ 5 gallons of gas
+ Emergency kit for the car
+ Spare cash in small bills
+ Firearm or pepper spray

"Bug In" Supplies:
+ Backup Heat
- Generator to run furnace OR
- Wood stove OR
- Indoor safe propane heater OR
- Kerosene heater (not legal in MA but they work well)

+ Cooking stove
- Gas grill
- wood stove?
- tabletop propane burner ($30 at Amazon)

+ Light
- LED lantern
- Head lamps
- Spare flashlight
- 1 set batteries for above

+ Food/Water
- Can be cooked on whatever stove you have
- Misc plastic jugs (fill when power goes out)

+ Hygene
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Spare medication

+ Misc
- Sleeping bags and foam pads
- Spare blankets
- Warm cloting for just sitting around
- Cards, games, etc (might as well have some fun)
- spare cash
- 5 gallons of gas for the car
- Firearm or pepper spray
- extra food for your pet

+ Nice to haves
- Propane powered hot water heater
- 2000-5000 watt generator and house wiring
- 10-20 gallons of gas for the generator

Note: If you have a well then the generator becomes a must have.
The Insider

Marion, MA

#13 Dec 13, 2010
The Voices In Your Head wrote:
<quoted text>
For an insider... You're not very knowledgeable :)
Being a firefighter and working with Unitil during the ice storm I have more knowledge than you do. Buy a generator !
Unitil hired bloggers

Clinton, MA

#14 Dec 13, 2010
The Insider wrote:
<quoted text>
I agree. Everyone whom lives in New England should always be prepared for a long term power outage. People in New Orleans thought we were cry babies. They lost everything and for more than 2 weeks ! If Unitil did leave what will these people protest? They have to have some outlet to get them into the spotlight and in the newspaper. Rates will always rise they will never go down.
Congrats on being a WELL PAID "insider"....And so kind of you to point out the obvious. I see you are reaping the rewards of a good education.

NEWSFLASH: "These people" aren't going away, when the muni bill passes and competition is there you can thank "THEM" you know, the THOUSANDS who SPOKE OUT and waited for hours at the DPU hearings, the elders and others whose health was compromised by Unitil (oh, that's right your a fireman, maybe you know some of them unless of course you are a fireman in Chelsea perhaps?)the businesses that DON'T EXIST thanks to Unitil's rates being HIGHER than anyone else's.......

Longevity...put the paper down my friend, there is far more to come and UNITIL will lose.
Samantha

Worcester, MA

#15 Dec 13, 2010
When the majority of Worcester county felt the wrath of the ice storm, why was it that only Unitil customers saw the longest outages and worst service? Why did they take the longest to respond/get answers from/and get our power back on?
Next time theres a storm I don't want to look down the street towards Leominster residents and see their power on a WEEK before mine.
jam

Ashburnham, MA

#16 Dec 13, 2010
This is precisely why monopolies are dangerous. We want and need a CHOICE. We have choice when it comes to just about everything else, yet some people think it is just about the infamous Ice Storm of 2008. WAKE UP! It's about freedom to choose your energy provider. It's about competition that motivates good service and fair pricing. We have choices for cable companies, phone companies etc. and that competition benefits the customer. When you are the "only game in town" you don't have to "try harder". Bring on the competition who ever it may be.
Lunenburg

Hudson, MA

#17 Dec 13, 2010
Argentina wrote:
If you think having the city manage your electric company is somehow going to magically transform your life then I got a bridge on 5th st to sell you.
The #1 reason that all of you are so pissed about the ice storm *still* is that it exposed your total lack of preparedness. Like the people in LA you sat around waiting for someone to come along and make it better.
Unitil may have been unprepared during the ice storm, however their issues did not cost nearly as much down time as most people like to think. If your power was out for 10 days Unitil's bungling probably cost you a day....after 9 days whats another day or two?
Hey guess what...its winter again has everyone prepared? Here's a checklist for the ignorant:
"Bug out" Supplies (going to stay with someone):
+ Tools and skill to drain your pipes
+ 1 gallon of RV antifreeze for your toilets
+ Container to store your frozen foods outside
+ Flashlight so you can secure your home before leaving
+ 5 gallons of gas
+ Emergency kit for the car
+ Spare cash in small bills
+ Firearm or pepper spray
"Bug In" Supplies:
+ Backup Heat
- Generator to run furnace OR
- Wood stove OR
- Indoor safe propane heater OR
- Kerosene heater (not legal in MA but they work well)
+ Cooking stove
- Gas grill
- wood stove?
- tabletop propane burner ($30 at Amazon)
+ Light
- LED lantern
- Head lamps
- Spare flashlight
- 1 set batteries for above
+ Food/Water
- Can be cooked on whatever stove you have
- Misc plastic jugs (fill when power goes out)
+ Hygene
- Baby wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Spare medication
+ Misc
- Sleeping bags and foam pads
- Spare blankets
- Warm cloting for just sitting around
- Cards, games, etc (might as well have some fun)
- spare cash
- 5 gallons of gas for the car
- Firearm or pepper spray
- extra food for your pet
+ Nice to haves
- Propane powered hot water heater
- 2000-5000 watt generator and house wiring
- 10-20 gallons of gas for the generator
Note: If you have a well then the generator becomes a must have.
What a stooge.
Jenn B from Fitchburg

Leominster, MA

#18 Dec 13, 2010
Unitil Sux Get Rid Of Them!! Get Rid Of UNITIL it's That simple!!!!!!!!!!
Runkachenko

Fitchburg, MA

#19 Dec 13, 2010
Samantha wrote:
When the majority of Worcester county felt the wrath of the ice storm, why was it that only Unitil customers saw the longest outages and worst service? Why did they take the longest to respond/get answers from/and get our power back on?
Next time theres a storm I don't want to look down the street towards Leominster residents and see their power on a WEEK before mine.
My brother lives in Leominster I live in Lunenburg I had power before he did....The people of my town for some reason think that it was only Unitil's service territory that lost power. You want to live in the woods grow a pair and prepare youself.
A Lunenburg resident

Sterling, MA

#20 Dec 13, 2010
Enlightened wrote:
Seriously. We all lived through the ice storm. It was horrible. But, really, move on! There has got to be more to life than one utility company. And raising rates??? What rock have these people been under? EVERY company is downsizing and raising prices because of the economy. I think that people need to take some personal responsibility for their lives and appreciate what they have.
This is obviously someone who was nowhere near here during the ice storm. It's not just about the storm 2 years ago, it's about the many future storms that Unitil has done very little to prepare for. In the Hickory Hills section, we had no power for 12 days. We also went thru 2 major snow storms during the power failure. It was almost impossible to get out, as so many poles and trees were down, and in the roads. Unitil has still NOT begun to trim the trees back, when is that going to happen? By not trimming back the trees, Unitil is just setting us up for another disaster. Do they not even care about the numerous people who rely on electricty to keep their medical devices up and running?? Oh, and one last thing, why do we have so many outages (some short, some longer) during clear, blue sky days with very little wind ? WHY ???? Could it be because their infrastructure is old and falling apart !!

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