Role of DPS on Long Island
The LIPA Reform Act (LRA) provides for statutorily mandated oversight of the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and PSEG Long Island (PSEG LI) by the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS). DPS opened (in 2014) and maintains a Long Island based office (DPS LI) to implement state oversight of LIPA and PSEG LI.
DPS LI works with PSEG LI and LIPA to build and ensure accountability and transparency to Long Island electric service customers. DPS LI provides direct access to DPS resources for Long Island. The people of Long Island can now rely on DPS LI to assist them in their needs regarding electric service.
In particular, DPS LI’s key areas of focus include:
- Electric Rates
- DPS along with LIPA and PSEG LI completed a comprehensive Three-year Rate Plan proceeding, the first in over twenty-years for Long Island.
- DPS and DPS LI provide various annual reviews of:
- Emergency response plans and planning
- Capital expenditure plans and future capital planning
- Incentive based performance metrics
- Long-range electric system improvement plans
- Comprehensive management and operations audits of PSEG LI and LIPA
- Oversight of consumer rights and responsibilities including tariff provisions and rate classifications
- Consumer complaint investigation and resolution
- Consumer outreach and education
The DPS LI website and contact information is at the disposal of Long Island to provide them the resources they need.
LIPA Reform Act
In July 2013, the LIPA Reform Act was signed to restructure electric utility operations on Long Island. The revamping of Long Island’s electric operations work towards the continual goals of:
- Improving customer service;
- Enhancing emergency response and preparation;
- Reducing the cost of LIPA’s debt; and
- Ensuring safe and adequate service at rates consistent with sound fiscal operating practices.
The new legislation called for the reorganization of LIPA and places the day-to-day operations under the responsibility of PSEG LI. LIPA’s primary focus is on financing matters and overseeing the contract with PSEG-LI. Among the responsibilities of the nine member LIPA Board of Trustees is responsibility for decisions on electric rates based on recommendations by the DPS resulting from a rate proceeding. The Board also has final approval on the annual budget and capital expenditures.
PSEG LI is a private utility company that was selected pursuant to competitive bid to take over management of LIPA’s electric system. On January 1, 2014, PSEG LI became responsible for LIPA’s day-to-day operations, including: budgeting, maintenance, storm preparedness and response, infrastructure improvements, and energy efficiency and renewable activities.
Electric customers on Long Island now receive their bill from PSEG LI rather than LIPA. Natural gas customers receive two bills: one from PSEG LI for their electric service and one from National Grid for their gas service. National Grid continues to own and operate its gas distribution business on Long Island.