CONCORD, N.H. (AP) – A Deerfield, N.H., lawmaker wants to set up a system of fines against utilities that would build as an electric outage continued.

Inspired by the recent ice storm, Rep. John Reagan has come up with a rough idea to give a utility a set amount of time to restore power before the fines kick in. Utilities would not face fines in cases where a property owner had refused to allow tree-trimming.

A spokesman for the state’s largest utility, Public Service Company of New Hampshire, didn’t like the idea. He says given that utilities don’t make money when meters aren’t running, they already have a strong incentive to restore power quickly and safely.

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