Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Long Island's dilapidated electric system

  1. #1

    Default Long Island's dilapidated electric system

    It seems LIPA has really allowed the electric distrubution system to become a mess. Its not your imagination those power outages are occuring more frequently.

    Primary (3 phase) wires sagging into tree

    This pole looks like its ready to go over, been like this for months

  2. #2


    December 5, 2003

    LIPA Plans Higher Surcharge and $150 Million Budget Cut


    GARDEN CITY, N.Y., Dec. 4 — The Long Island Power Authority will cut $150 million in costs and increase a surcharge to consumers' bills to deal with financial troubles brought on by rising fuel prices and the cost of building new power plants, LIPA officials said on Thursday.

    In addition to cutting from all corners of the Long Island utility's budget, LIPA officials said they expected to increase an 8.8 percent surcharge by an additional three to five percentage points. Under that increase, an average household on Long Island would pay $130 to $150 annually in LIPA surcharges, an average increase of about $34 to $56.

    The LIPA chairman, Richard M. Kessel, described the authority's budget situation at a Thursday meeting of its board.

    In an interview after the meeting, Mr. Kessel said he would try to limit surcharge increases but said it was inevitable that customers would pay more next year.

    "Otherwise, we will wind up financially unstable, and we can't allow that to happen," Mr. Kessel said.

    To trim $150 million from LIPA's 2004 budget, a LIPA spokesman, Bert Cunningham, said the utility would put everything on the table.

    He said the authority was considering delaying projects, cutting money spent to improve substations or power lines, or doing away with the self-stamped envelopes in which customers send their monthly power bills. The envelope perquisite alone costs $3 million annually, Mr. Cunningham said.

    And though the board's meeting was the last scheduled for this year, two members said in interviews that they expected to reconvene sometime before January to vote on disputed plans to build two new power plants, one in Medford and the other in Bethpage. One board member, Jonathan Sinnreich, said he supported the plan.

    "There's no question at all that we need the capacity and the power," Mr. Sinnreich said in a telephone interview. "There's no question at all the only way to be sure that we have it in time for next year is to proceed with these plants. Given where we are at this point, we have no choice."

    Critics have accused LIPA of acting secretively in its plans to build the plants, saying that the utility exploited a loophole in state law that allowed it to shirk rigorous public and government review of the plans. They have also criticized the proposed plants as being less efficient than a larger power plant.

    LIPA's plans to move forward with surcharge increases — though not approved — rekindled those accusations of surreptitiousness. Gordian Raacke, the executive director of the Citizens Advisory Panel, a group that monitors LIPA, said the surcharge increases were merely a tactic to skirt the public oversight that would come with a full-fledged rate increase.

    "There's an ongoing, unhealthy habit by LIPA to avoid public and regulatory review, and this is another example of that," Mr. Raacke said on Thursday.

    LIPA imposed a 5.8 percent surcharge on electric bills in 2001, then raised it to 8.8 percent in 2003 to compensate for rising costs of oil, natural gas and imported electricity. But costs have continued to rise, Mr. Cunningham said, forcing the need to cut costs and increase surcharges.

    LIPA has not drawn up its final 2004 budget, and Mr. Kessel said it would not be ready until the end of December. Mr. Cunningham said he knew one thing about what it would look like.

    "It's going to be a very tight budget," he said.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  3. #3
    Banned Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY


    LIPA Needs to bury its power lines.

  4. #4


    April 8, 2004

    L.I. Utility Reconsiders Arrangement for Electricity


    CARLE PLACE, N.Y., April 7 - Yet another makeover is being proposed for Long Island's electricity supply system, which for decades has been a focus of notoriety and multibillion-dollar problems that prompted interventions by Govs. Mario M. Cuomo and George E. Pataki.

    The latest changes under consideration could convert the current system, a hybrid of public and private ownership, into all-public ownership. Or the system could revert to all-private ownership.

    "It should be a healthy debate on our board, in the halls in Albany and with the public on Long Island," said Richard M. Kessel, chairman of the Long Island Power Authority, the state agency that now owns part of the system, which replaced the privately owned Long Island Lighting Company. He outlined the choices in a news conference and luncheon speech here on Wednesday.

    The debate began immediately. Gordian Raacke, the executive director of the Citizens Advisory Panel, a court-appointed watchdog group, voiced doubt about privatizing. "It took decades to bring public power to Long Island," he said. "Why would we want to give it up when we're just beginning to see some payoff?"

    Mr. Kessel said he wants to explore all options, including keeping the present arrangement, with some modification. The ultimate choice should be whatever gives the best service and lowest rates for customers, he said, adding that he will not support privatizing unless it reduces bills.

    LIPA serves about 2.8 million people and 160,00 businesses and institutions. Its territory covers the Rockaways in Queens and Nassau and Suffolk Counties, except for the villages of Rockville Centre, Freeport and Greenport. The agency has a $2.7 billion annual budget.

    In the beginning, there was the Long Island Lighting Company. Lilco was unpopular for erratic service and for charging the highest electricity rates in the contiguous 48 states. It had high debt, reflecting the $5 billion cost of building its Shoreham nuclear plant, which, in the face of safety concerns, never opened. Governor Cuomo was active in the state takeover of the unused plant

    Lilco was disbanded in 1998, in a deal engineered by Governor Pataki. LIPA bought Lilco's power lines and central business office, requiring a $6.8 billion municipal bond issue, the largest in the nation's history at that point.

    The rest of Lilco merged with Brooklyn Union Gas to become KeySpan. It took over Lilco's gas system and its electricity generating plants. KeySpan continued supplying that power to LIPA's grid, and the old Lilco work force of about 2,500 continued operating the system as KeySpan employees, under a contract with LIPA.

    The big selling points to the public - and for the elected public officials who approved the deal - were an average 20 percent cut in the electricity rates and the settlement of a huge property tax refund that Lilco had claimed from Suffolk and Brookhaven Town for overassessing the Shoreham plant.

    As if that were not complex enough, now the plot thickens. LIPA has an option that expires in May 2005 to buy five major power plants and 52 smaller generators from KeySpan, a purchase that some experts say could cost billions of dollars. If LIPA decides to exercise the option, the system would become entirely public.

    With such a momentous decision, everything should be reconsidered, Mr. Kessel said. Newsday reported the possibilities on Wednesday.

    Privatization would entail selling the power lines and central administration. KeySpan's chairman, Robert B. Catell, said his company would be interested, and others would probably enter the fray.

    A publicly owned utility saves money by not making a profit, by not paying dividends to stockholders, by not paying federal income tax and by financing at lower, tax-exempt rates. But private ownership may be less cumbersome and yield "extraordinary savings" by consolidating what LIPA and KeySpan now do, Mr. Kessel said.

    Major changes would require approval by the State Legislature and the governor. But the most crucial decision affecting privatization could be an Internal Revenue Service ruling on whether tax-exempt status would continue on LIPA's remaining bonds of nearly $7 billion.

    "We've accomplished a lot," Mr. Kessel said, pointing to improved service, faster response to storms and blackouts and more generation added than in the prior 25 years. Rising fuel costs have pushed up electricity prices by 13.5 percent, but they are still lower than Lilco's rates six years ago.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by BrooklynRider
    LIPA Needs to bury its power lines.
    That's easier said than done. Such an undertaking would be incredibly expensive, most likely.

Similar Threads

  1. Heartland Town Square, Long Island
    By Kris in forum New York Metro
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: January 17th, 2007, 03:38 PM
  2. Long Island City after MoMA QNS
    By Kris in forum New York City Guide For New Yorkers
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: March 1st, 2005, 06:58 AM
  3. Houses at Sagaponac, Long Island
    By Kris in forum New York Metro
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 6th, 2004, 04:43 PM
  4. Long Essay on Art in New York Neighborhoods
    By Agglomeration in forum New York Real Estate
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: December 17th, 2002, 08:27 PM
  5. The long process of reconstruction - Who will be in charge ?
    By Fabb in forum New York Real Estate
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: January 30th, 2002, 12:29 PM


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Google+ - Facebook - Twitter - Meetup

Edward's photos on Flickr - Wired New York on Flickr - In Queens - In Red Hook - Bryant Park - SQL Backup Software