Electric customers impacted by Isaias to weigh in on state's penalty process regarding outages
Electric customers impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias will now have a chance to weigh in on the state’s penalty proceedings – holding utility companies responsible for outages that lasted days.
Utility companies are facing $137 million in fines for leaving Hudson Valley customers in the dark during a natural disaster in the midst of a pandemic.
John Vota lost power in New City for a week after Tropical Storm Isaias in August.
“It started getting aggravating by day five,” he says. “Who cares about the leftovers in the fridge ... It’s another thing when you have to go, 'Is the insulin still good?'”
A whopping 1.5 million customers were without power following Isaias and the state’s Public Service Commission found Central Hudson, Orange and Rockland and Con Edison responsible - claiming they weren’t prepared and caused unnecessary restoration delays.
Virtual public hearings will now be held through January to get feedback from impacted customers, as Con Ed and O&R also face having their licenses revoked.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said by statement that "if utility operations are mismanaged, the customers are the last people who should be forced to foot the bill – we pay them for a service and clearly that service wasn’t provided.”
A Central Hudson rep says the company disagrees with the proposed penalties and says the money would be better used for service upgrades to avoid outages in the future.