New York’s utility regulators have threatened steep penalties against several utility companies for a response to Tropical Storm Isaias that the governor called “unacceptable.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday that the state’s Department of Public Service has sent notice of apparent violation letters to electric companies Con Edison, Orange & Rockland, PSEG LI, Central Hudson along with telephone, cable and internet provider Altice-Optimum.
The governor said the companies must take steps now to improve their response throughout the rest of the hurricane season. About 1.3 million New York customers saw power outages during the early August storm, according to Cuomo’s office.
The utilities’ violations vary from inaccurate and poor communications with customers to issues with PSEG LI’s call center and outage management system.
Cuomo said the public utility’s commission is threatening to revoke the franchise of Con Edison and Orange & Rockland and terminate PSEG-LI’s contract with the Long Island Power Authority depending on the results of an ongoing, six-month investigation.
And Cuomo said PSEG has agreed to forfeit incentive compensation that the utility expected to receive in 2020 — a value of $10 million.
Con Edison spokesperson Allan Drury said the company is working to improve its storm response efforts and implement a resiliency plan.
“Our storm response plans enabled us to restore more than 300,000 customer outages from Tropical Storm Isaias at a rate that was more than two times faster than after Winter Storms Riley and Quinn and 1.5 times faster than Hurricane Irene,” Drury said.
Phone and email messages seeking comment were left with Orange & Rockland, PSEG LI, Central Hudson and Altice-Optimum on Wednesday.