Albany, NY – In the wake of NYSEG’S sluggish response to another cataclysmic weather event that left hundreds of people in the dark for the fourth or fifth time this year, Senator Terrence Murphy immediately took steps to hold both organizations responsible. He had already written to John Rhodes, the Chair for the Public Service Commission and CEO for New York’s DPS, twice; the first time was on July 26th, with a follow-up on August 16th. Both his letters had been ignored. He was not going to be denied a third time.
On September 24th, Senator Murphy posted an online letter on his Senate website, calling for the PSC to take action against NYSEG. As the old saying goes, “Third time’s a charm.” A response from John Rhodes followed on September 27th. In his letter Rhodes stated, “The Department of Public Service (Department) takes very seriously its responsibility to ensure that NYSEG customers and all New York residents have access to safe and reliable electric service. To that end, the Department has commenced a targeted analysis of the degradation of reliability that has resulted in repeated outages within NYSEG’s service territory in Westchester and Putnam Counties. The Department continues to work directly with NYSEG to engineer and install necessary infrastructure improvements that will ameliorate the frequency of such outages.
In addition, recent efforts have been focused on improving the coordination and communications between municipal officials and NYSEG. These activities are part of an ongoing comprehensive investigation into the preparedness and response of all the New York electric utilities, including NYSEG, to the 2018 March nor’easters and subsequent outage events.”
“It’s my responsibility as an elected official to get answers for the thousands of NYSEG customers who have felt they’ve been underserved and ignored by NYSEG,” said Senator Murphy. “I appreciate Chairman Rhodes’ response, and I’m hopeful it helps alleviate the anger and frustration that NYSEG customers have been feeling since last winter. I’m here to help facilitate any issues, and I remain hopeful that the PSC and NYSEG will indeed work together to solve NYSEG’s preparedness and response problems. If not, then they’ll have to answer to me and their customers who live in the 40th Senate District.”
Rick Morrissey, Somers Town Supervisor stated, “I applaud the Senator’s efforts to hold NYSEG accountable for maintaining their electric infrastructure and keeping our lights on, while pursuing the PSC to take action against NYSEG to ensure future reliability and response. We need answers.”
“We appreciate the work that Senator Murphy is doing on our behalf, working to get NYSEG and the PSC to improve the electrical delivery system in North Salem,” said North Salem Town Supervisor Warren Lucas.
Kenneth Schmitt, Carmel Town Supervisor added, “There’s an old saying, ‘Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.’ The warm weather is gone, we’re heading into the winter season and we finally have gotten a response from the PSC saying they know there’s a problem with NYSEG and their working on it. Their customers deserve to know that something concrete is being done. We don’t want thousands of people sitting in the dark again when the storms hit.”