PSEG to Manage Long Island’s Utility Operations

pseg_takes_over_long_island_utilitiesOn Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a law restructuring Long Island utility operations in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, replacing the Long Island Power Authority with New Jersey-based Public Service Electric and Gas (PSEG) as of January 1, 2014.

At an appearance at LIPA headquarters in Uniondale, Cuomo promised the new utility would hold rates — the delivery-charge portion of bills — until January 2016, and bring a new level of “professionalism” that ratepayers were unaccustomed to, Newsday reports.

At an appearance at LIPA headquarters in Uniondale, Cuomo promised the new utility would hold rates — the delivery-charge portion of bills — until January 2016, and bring a new level of “professionalism” that ratepayers were unaccustomed to, Newsday reports. Surrounded by a contingent of state and local lawmakers, Cuomo called LIPA “wasteful, expensive and incompetent.” No LIPA officials or trustees were at the signing ceremony.

“You have to operate the utility better,” Cuomo said. “LIPA’s answer to everything was more money, more money, more money.” “You can’t keep putting your hand in the pocket of the ratepayers… The answer is, use the money you have better,” Newsday reports.

Critics of the legislation say the bill was hastily passed, without sufficient transparency, and could lead to higher rates. Some activists call for LIPA to be made a fully public power company, not run by a private entity like National Grid, the current operator, or PSEG. LIPA trustee Matthew Cordaro expressed concern that ratepayers still don’t have a cost analysis of the expanded PSEG contract.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) praised Cuomo for “taking the bold steps,” which he said would “restore the people’s faith in the utility.” Newsday reports that Cuomo called the legislation “the silver lining” after the disaster of Sandy, which exposed LIPA’s shortcomings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Legal News. Bookmark the permalink.


© 2005-2016 Parker Waichman LLP ®. All Rights Reserved.