Constituents want better communications with utility companies
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef sent a letter to the Moreland Commission voicing her constituents’ concerns about utility storm preparation and responses. Galef’s January 2013 Newsletter included a questionnaire requesting feedback about how to improve local utility companies based on their response to the storm. About 350 people responded.
The majority of responses called for:
- Improving pre-storm maintenance such as tree trimming, checking of poles and transformers, and stockpiling materials
- Requiring the utilities to bury lines for new developments especially in vulnerable areas or along highways
- Improving communication between the utility companies and clients during and after storms
- Requiring gas stations to have generators
“The past few storms have really tested our local utility companies’ resources and caused tremendous stress on the system,” said Galef. “We need to find a viable solution to increase utility storm preparation and response.”
Constituents indicated a growing concern regarding how the needed improvements would be paid for. Some suggested creating alternative options like putting consumers on the Public Service Commission (PSC) board as well as helping people become less reliant on the utilities, by reducing energy use.
“I appreciate my constituents’ responses and hope the Moreland Commission will take the suggestions into consideration,” said Galef.
Last year, Gov. Andrew Cuomo established the Moreland Commission to investigate the response, preparation and management of New York’s power utility companies. The commission has held public hearings to solicit comments from the public and has recently published their preliminary results. The commission seeks to finalize its report this upcoming spring.