Daly said that his goal is to turn PSEG Long Island into a nationally ranked utility company similar to its New Jersey sibling, PSE&G — and to leave LIPA’s checkered past in the dust. The first step, he added, is to improve day-to-day operations and infrastructure. Although LIPA’s assets are in relatively good shape, a number of utility poles across Long Island are in need of replacement, and tree trimming — necessary for preventing downed power lines in storms — has been neglected in recent years. LIPA also ranked last in global marketing research giant J.D. Power and Associates’ customer satisfaction survey in 2012.
Tree trimming has already begun Island-wide, and during the past year, PSEG employees have been busy inspecting equipment and preparing work stations for the transition. But Daly noted that the company’s biggest concern is customer satisfaction. “We view every customer complaint as an opportunity for improvement,” he said, adding that the utility uses data collected from customer survey responses to prioritize the problems it needs to fix.
As for storm management, PSEG plans to implement a process called Logistics, which it inherited from its New Jersey parent company. Its priorities are simple: to implement a streamlined system that allows the PSEG Long Island workforce and contractors to do their jobs without too many hang-ups.
“How do you keep 90 percent of the workforce, which I normally am not set up to organize and manage, productive?” Daly said of storm-response efforts. “You just think through the cycle of a day: They go to sleep, they get up in the morning and … you give them breakfast at their hotel. You then put them on a bus … When they get off the bus at the staging area, you hand them a boxed lunch, so that means they also don’t have to think about lunch. They get in their truck, that’s been parked there overnight — and overnight, a fuel truck has come down and fueled every vehicle to the top … So they get into their truck, they go out and do their work, they have their lunch, they go back [to work] then get back on the bus, get back to the hotel, get fed, and go back to sleep.”