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Board Urges “Significant Financial Penalties” on Con Ed, NYSEG

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White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators is urging the New York State Public Service Commission to impose stiff financial penalties on Consolidated Edison and New York State Electric and Gas for the companies’ response to the March storms that left thousands of Westchester residents without power, many for a week or more.


In a letter signed by all the Legislators and sent on Tuesday to Public Service Commission Chairman John B. Rhodes, the Board asked for “significant financial penalties” to be imposed on the companies for their “inadequate preparation and response” to the storms.


“The Commission’s penalizing action is crucial to provoke the utilities to change their procedures and prevent missteps in future storms, which have had such profound impact on our communities,” the Board wrote in the letter.


But, the Board noted, the cost of these penalties must not be passed on to rate-payers.


Earlier this month, the Board urged the Public Service Commission to hold public hearings in Westchester, so the Commission can hear directly from residents who were affected by the extended outages.


The Commission is the government entity that regulates the utilities. On March 14, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the Department of Public Service would launch an investigation into Con Ed and NYSEG’s preparedness for and response to the storms.


Last week, the Board spent nearly three hours grilling representatives of Con Ed and NYSEG about reimbursements to rate-payers, storm preparedness, response coordination with municipal officials, and failures in the “mutual aid” process of calling in help from other utilities.

 

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