New York Investigating Utilities' Storm Response

"In the wake of recent storms, it is abundantly clear that some utilities failed to meet our expectations," Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said. "Given the number of prolonged outages, I directed the Department of Public Service to investigate the utilities' preparations and response to the storms."

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced March 14 that the New York State Department of Public Service has notified the chief executives of the state's major electric utility companies that it has opened an investigation into their preparedness of and response to two early March nor'easters. The storms caused more than 590,000 New York homes and businesses to lose power, some for as long as 10 days.

"In the wake of recent storms, it is abundantly clear that some utilities failed to meet our expectations," Cuomo said. "Given the number of prolonged outages, I directed the Department of Public Service to investigate the utilities' preparations and response to the storms. New York will hold these utility companies accountable, and we will take action to ensure that outages like the ones experienced in March do not happen again."

Notification letters were delivered to utility CEOs after storm damage restorations were completed. In the letter, John B. Rhodes, CEO of the Department of Public Service, said the department will investigate the companies' approved emergency plans and that their Emergency Response Performance Assessments must be filed with the department within 60 days.

Those letters went out to seven utilities: Consolidated Edison, Inc.; Central Hudson; National Grid - NY; NYSEG; RG&E; Orange & Rockland Utilities; and PSEG Long Island. The letters also say the public will be encouraged and given the opportunity to have input into the investigation and to comment on the companies' restoration efforts.

"We will undertake a thorough and intense investigation because the response and restoration has not met the expectations of New Yorkers," said Rhodes. "As part of this investigation, we will determine what went right and what went wrong and take action accordingly. Utilities must follow their utility response plans, and failure to do so can result in financial penalties to shareholders."

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