Northeast Utilities

Northeast Utilities
Northeast Utilities
Type Public (NYSENU)
Industry Electric Utilities
Founded 1966
Headquarters Berlin, Connecticut, USA
Area served Connecticut, Western Massachusetts, New Hampshire
Key people NU is governed by an 8-member Board of Trustees. Elizabeth T. Kennan, Lead Trustee[1]
Products generation, transmission and distribution
CL&P -

Northeast Utilities (NYSENU) is a publicly-traded, Fortune 500 energy company headquartered in Berlin, Connecticut, with several regulated subsidiaries offering retail electricity and natural gas service to more than 2.1 million customers in New England.

NU is New England's largest public utility, with more than 3,140 circuit miles of electric transmission lines, 32,802 pole miles of distribution lines throughout the region, and a natural gas distribution system encompassing 2,088 square miles (5,000 km2) in Connecticut.[2]



NU was formed on July 1, 1966, with the merger of Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P), Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO), and The Hartford Electric Light Company under a single parent company, creating the first new multi-state public utility holding company since the enactment of the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 1935. In 1967, Holyoke Water Power Company (HWP) joined the NU System, followed by the Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) in 1992.[3]

In October 2010, Northeast Utilities announced that it would merge with NSTAR, with the resulting company retaining the Northeast Utilities name. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.[4]

Corporate Structure

Northeast Utilities has four main subsidiaries. These are CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, and Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas).

CL&P is Connecticut's largest electric utility, serving more than 1.1 million customers. This subsidiary serves residential, municipal, commercial and industrial customers in approximately 149 cities and towns.

PSNH is New Hampshire's largest electric utility, serving more than 475,000 homes and businesses throughout the state. This subsidiary owns three fossil fuel-fired generating plants and nine hydroelectric facilities, jointly capable of generating more than 1,110 megawatts of electricity.

WMECO is a main distributor of electricity in western Massachusetts, serving more than 200,000 customers.

Yankee Gas is Connecticut's largest natural gas distribution company, delivering natural gas to approximately 200,000 customers in approximately 71 cities and towns. This subsidiary delivers natural gas to thousands of Connecticut homes for heating, hot water, cooking (indoors and outdoors), fireplaces and outdoor lighting.

In November 2005, the company announced it would sell its unregulated competitive businesses, including generation and energy services. In November 2006 the company had essentially completed the divestiture of its competitive businesses.[citation needed]

Political Connections

As a large utility company, Northeast Utilities, Connecticut Light and Power, and its other subsidiaries are regulated by state and federal legislators. The company has been generous with election campaign contributions to several Connecticut politicians. Among organizations, Northeast Utilities was the third biggest contributor to Representative Christopher Murphy (CT-5)[5], the fourth biggest contributor to Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2)[6], and the sixth biggest contributor to Representative John Larson (CT-1)[7], during the July 2009 to June 2011 period. During the longer four year period from July 2007 to June 2011, Northeast Utilities and it executives donated $56,900 to Rep. Christopher Murphy [8], $38,100 to Rep. Joe Courtney [9], $30,000 to Rep. John Larson[10], $11,800 to Rep. Jim Himes (CT-4)[11], and $6,000 to Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT-3)[12].

HVDC transmission

Northeast Utilities has signed on a joint venture with Hydro-Québec and NSTAR to build a new High-voltage direct current (HVDC) line from Windsor, Quebec (connecting with the Quebec grid) to a location in central New Hampshire. It is projected that the line will either run in existing right-of-way adjacent to the HVDC line that runs through New Hampshire, or it will connect to a right-of-way in northern New Hampshire that will run through the White Mountains. This 180- to 190-mile line, projected to carry 1,200 megawatts, will carry electricity to approximately one million homes.[13] The issue of buying hydropower from Hydro-Québec has been an issue during the Massachusetts gubernatorial election of 2010.[14]


  1. ^ Northeast Utilities Corporate Governance
  2. ^ Northeast Utilities. "NU Facts". Northeast Utilities. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  3. ^ Northeast Utilities (2001). "Celebrating our 35th Anniversary: Diversity Fuels our Success". pp. 2–3. Retrieved 2010-10-19. 
  4. ^ Ailworth, Erin (2010-10-18). "NStar and Northeast Utilities agree to merger". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-10-18. 
  5. ^ "MapLight - U.S. Congress - Chris Murphy". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  6. ^ "MapLight - U.S. Congress - Joe Courtney". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  7. ^ "MapLight - U.S. Congress - John Larson". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  8. ^ "MapLight". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  9. ^ "MapLight". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  10. ^ "MapLight". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  11. ^ "MapLight". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  12. ^ "MapLight". Retrieved 2011-11-07. 
  13. ^ Porter, Louis (19 December 2008). "Utilities plan for N.E. expansion". Rutland Herald. Retrieved 2009-05-09. 
  14. ^ Daley, Beth (2010-10-23). "Canadian firm offers N.E. more hydropower". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-10-24. 

See also

1. Kobak, Steve. "46 years after breaking color barrier, NU's first black lineman retires." The Norwalk Hour. Published 5/9/2009.

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