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On April 13, 2011 Jacobs Consultancy released its findings on its formal audit of Unitil’s management structure. You can view the complete audit by clicking this link.

This audit, which was conducted by an independent third party and commissioned by the Mass. DPU, aimed to determine whether Unitil’s management practices in Massachusetts meet the Company’s public service obligations to its customers in all circumstances, including a significant power outage. The report involved a complete diagnostic review of the company and concluded that Unitil’s management practices are sound, that it allocates appropriate resources to fulfill its responsibilities and has a strong corporate strategic planning process.

The report states that following the 2008 ice storm, Unitil has been “responsive and has undertaken significant initiatives and steps to improve overall performance and in particular, communications and storm response.” (Page 6) The report includes 13 recommendations, many of which support Unitil’s existing initiatives.

 

The report at a glance:   

  • Reliability - The report said that Unitil has a “strong focus on reliability” and that this “focus on reliability and implementation of policies to ensure continuous improvements is reflected in FG&E’s excellent reliability performance.”  When compared to peer companies in New England, Unitil’s Massachusetts territory has “historically been clustered within results of the better performers.” (Figure 17) The report makes specific note to mention 2006 and 2007, the years PRIOR to the ice storm, showing this is not new for the company.  
     
  • Emergency Response & Preparedness - The report declared the Company’s current emergency response plan as effective, referring to the 2010 Wind Storm in New Hampshire and staging events in Massachusetts this past winter (Page 90).  The report notes that Unitil has “completed 26 of the 28 self-assessment recommendations and has substantially completed most of the tasks associated with the additional work.”
     
  • Communications & Customer Service - The report gives high marks to the enhancement Unitil has made to its communications department since 2008, noting the redesigned Website (Page 81), use of social media (Page 81) and reorganization of the customer service department (Page 81).  The report states that “Unitil has made significant strides in its communications since the ice storm of 2008.  By redefining its external communications to include a customer-centric focus rather than simply corporate communications, Unitil has addressed many of the gaps that can create issues during outage events.”
     
  • Infrastructure - The report said Unitil’s current maintenance cycles regarding poles, wires and other electric equipment are in line with industry practice and offers no additional recommendations (Page 2).
     
  • Tree Trimming - The report supports the enhanced tree trimming program detailed in the Massachusetts rate case as submitted, where funding is tripled as Unitil works to remove hazard trees not typically included in trimming cycles. No other recommendations are needed on this issue, the report says (Page 46).

 

You can view the complete Management Audit by clicking here

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About Unitil Corporation

Unitil Corporation provides energy for life by safely and reliably delivering natural gas and electricity in New England. We are committed to the communities we serve and to developing people, business practices, and technologies that lead to the delivery of dependable, more efficient energy. Unitil Corporation is a public utility holding company with operations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Together, Unitil’s operating utilities serve approximately 105,600 electric customers and 82,700 natural gas customers. For more information about our people, technologies, and community involvement please visit https://unitil.com.


For more information please contact:
Alec O'Meara

Media Relations Manager
OMeara@unitil.com
Phone: 603-773-6404

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