BOSTON (AP) — Attorney General Martha Coakley wants the state to do more to compensate utility customers who suffer lengthy power outages after severe storms.

In a letter sent this week to a legislative committee, Coakley proposed changing state law to require that any penalties paid by utilities after power outages be returned directly to consumers in the form of rate credits.

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The attorney general has also proposed doing away with an existing cap on penalties that can be imposed on utilities.

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The committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy is considering legislation requiring companies to beef up storm preparedness plans.

The Department of Public Utilities is investigating the response by utilities after many customers went days without power in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and the surprise October snowstorm.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.