Assemblymember Mayer Leads Delegation Effort Demanding Public Service Commission Hold Public Statement Hearing Regarding Prolonged Power Outages

Assemblymember Shelley Mayer spearheaded an initiative on behalf of the NYS Assembly Westchester Delegation to request that the Public Service Commission, which overseas Con Edison and NYSEG, hold a Public Statement Hearing to receive residents' public comments on the delayed and inadequate response of Westchester's two utility companies
March 6, 2018

Westchester, NY-- Assemblymember Shelley Mayer (D-90) is leading NYS Assembly Westchester Delegation efforts to call on the Public Service Commission (PSC) to hold a Public Statement Hearing in the near future at the Westchester County Center where PSC representatives would hear from utility ratepayers on the extreme challenges caused by Con Edison and New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG)'s insufficient preparation and delayed and inadequate response to Winter Storm Riley.

As of Tuesday morning, March 6, 2018, five days after Winter Storm Riley landed, Con Edison and NYSEG report that there are still 43,800 customers in Westchester County still without power. In a letter directed to the Chair of the Public Service Commission, John Rhodes, the NYS Assembly Westchester Delegation writes:

"Frankly, we are profoundly dissatisfied with the delayed and inadequate response of our two utility companies, Con Edison and NYSEG. We know many of our constituents feel the same sense of outrage and anger, and they are entitled to be heard by the Commission overseeing the utilities that serve them and for which they pay a significant cost."

The letter continues: "To facilitate improved emergency preparation and response and hold utility companies accountable for timely restoration and response, the PSC is required to provide an assessment of electric utility performance after a significant outage. We look forward to such an assessment, but in the interim, we want to be sure utility ratepayers are provided with a convenient opportunity to be heard about the profound challenges caused by the utility's failures to move quickly and prepare adequately for this storm."

Click here to read the full letter sent to the Public Service Commission requesting the Public Statement Hearing. The letter was signed by NYS Assemblymembers Shelley B. Mayer (D-90), J. Gary Pretlow (D-89), Sandy Galef (D-95), Amy R. Paulin (D-88), Thomas J. Abinanti (D-92), Steven Otis (D-91), David Buchwald (D-93), and Kevin Byrne (R-94).

"The response time and insufficient effort to deal with the damage caused by Winter Storm Riley is unacceptable," said Assemblymember Shelley Mayer. "The prolonged power outages have caused major complications in our constituents' lives and have been a fiscal burden on local municipalities. After Superstorm Sandy, the PSC was required to its oversight of public utilities and ensure that Con Edison and NYSEG would develop adequate response plans to deal with future storms. Clearly, the emergency preparation plans in place were inadequate, and residents deserve the opportunity to be heard about the challenges they faced due to the utilities' inadequate responses."