Just over a month into its term as Long Island’s electric utility, PSEG Long Island is rolling out major improvements — and its workforce is already sick and tired of hearing about LIPA.
“These folks are hungry to be on the winning team,” David M. Daly, president and COO of PSEG Long Island, told the Herald. “They are energized.”
PSEG Long Island was selected in December 2011 to manage LIPA’s much-maligned electrical system. The 12-year fixed-fee contract, Daly explained, includes commitments to provide safe, reliable service for customers on Long Island and in the Rockaways and improve customer satisfaction. PSEG Long Island is a subsidiary of New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group Inc., a publicly traded energy company that boasts annual revenues of more than $10 billion.
The utility is responsible for day-to-day operations of the electrical system, and will set budgets, manage storm-restoration processes, gauge customer satisfaction and handle community outreach. PSEG’s involvement, however, does not take the Long Island Power Authority out of the picture. LIPA, which is owned by New York state, has retained ownership of all its assets — the hardware needed to run a utility company, including utility lines and poles — and is still responsible for power generation. But LIPA’s main role is to review and act on PSEG recommendations.
“[Under the old system,] LIPA and National Grid kind of were co-managers,” Daly said. “They had shared responsibilities, shared accountabilities. It was one of the fundamental flaws, we think, in that model … And so, the new structure is, LIPA moves all the way to the background, and we come up front and have complete operational control.”