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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
News
PSEG unveils new utility program
Residents concerned about costs and energy efficiency
Vanessas Parker vparker@liherald.com
Vanessa Parker/Herald
PSEG Long Island will launch a new program for more efficient power and energy over the next ten years, starting after public hearings where feedback from residents will be collected

Utility 2.0, an updated power program that the Public Service Electric and Gas company (PSEG) said would cost about $200 million, will begin its implementation stage in early 2015.

After reviewing the Long Island Power Authority Reform Act, PSEG Long Island proposed this plan officially on July 1. The main goal of this plan is to implement energy efficiency measures, distributed generation, and advanced grid technology programs for the purpose of providing customers with tools to more efficiently and effectively manage their energy usage and utility bills, and improve system reliability and power quality, according to PSEG.

Michael Voltz, director of energy efficiency and renewables for PSEG, said at a public hearing in Garden City on Aug. 20 that they want to improve reliability of customer service and keep service cost-efficient for our customers. “Trimming trees, for example,” Voltz said. “A majority of storm issues are caused by downed trees, which cause power outages. We also plan on improving our storm response. We looked at communications efforts and stepped up our response times in restoring service.”

During the first three years of Utility 2.0, on July 1 of every year, PSEG Long Island will provide updates to plans, making them available to the public.

More specific goals included are a programmable thermostat expansion, which would reduce energy remotely on a Wi-Fi based system, a residential home energy management system, which are customized brochures sent out to help individual customers compare energy savings, and energy conservation for hospitals. PSEG would work directly with each hospital’s chief financial officer to provide capital for building improvement projects.

Rich Thomas, the executive director of the New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance, an advocacy group for communities, spoke at the public hearing on behalf of his committee and its chairman, Arthur “Jerry” Kremer, a Long Beach resident and a former member of the state Assembly.

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