Look Up!

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Walk around any neighborhood and look up.  Chances are you’ll see a utility pole with wires and other equipment. And for good reason. Utility poles dot the landscape of every town around the state and most of the country. They form the highway above us that keeps everyday life in order.  In fact, there are about 180 million utility poles across the United States – that’s about one pole for every other person in the country.

Utility poles have been around since the mid-1800s when they were originally erected to carry telegraph wires. The rise of electricity brought a new use to the poles. Outfitted with insulators, the poles could carry electricity from generating stations to individual homes and businesses.  Today these poles are still the backbone of our electrical grid.

Ever wonder how the poles support the delivery of electricity or what these poles hold? Here’s your guide to the anatomy of a pole and some interesting facts you may not already know about them.

PSEG Long Island has 545,068 poles across its service territory. Of that, 324,692 are owned by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA); 214,977 are owned by Verizon; and 5,399 are consumer-owned. On Long Island, the ownership of the utility poles is established via an agreement between the LIPA and Verizon.

Poles come in different sizes.  Utility poles on the island range between 20 feet and 140 feet tall. The most common PSEG Long Island pole is 35 feet and and there are 256,354 of them.

Anatomy of a utility pole

 

Power lines are not the only wires on a pole.  Wires at the top of the pole deliver your electricity and belong to PSEG Long Island. Wires below the electric portion  deliver your telephone, cable TV and fiber optic services and are owned by those providers.

Transformers help provide the right amount of power for your home or business.  The big barrel that looks like an oil drum is the transformer that reduces voltage so customers can use it. Transformers bring the electricity down to a safe level – enabling our  appliances to work properly.

Power lines don’t actually touch the poles. Instead, insulators – the things that look like dinner plates or cups attached to the line — prevent energized wires from contacting each other. And remember, that if a wire ever comes down, stay away and call PSEG Long Island at 800-490-0075 to report it right away.

Poles are made of wood and are recycled when taken out of use. Most utility poles in the United States are made of southern yellow pine and have a life of approximately 25 to 50 years.  Once they’ve reached their useful lives, poles are burned for energy or recycled, depending on the material used.

So next time you turn on the lights, it’s not magic; it’s that pole outside that safely provides electricity at the flip of a switch.

PSEG Long Island customer service satisfaction on the rise (again)

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Over 500 PSEG Long Island employees participated in the 2016 Marcum Workplace Challenge at Jones Beach this July.

When PSEG Long Island took the helm of distributing reliable and efficient power to Nassau, Suffolk and the Rockaways in 2014, we’ve had unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction—and according to one global market research company, it’s paying off.

J.D. Power—the recognized industry leader for customer satisfaction—recently released its latest customer satisfaction survey results, ranking PSEG Long Island as the fourth-most improved large utility in the nation. We’ve climbed 26 points from last year to achieve a score of 610, our highest thus far. In 2015, customer satisfaction climbed 52 points, making PSEG Long Island the most improved large utility in the nation.

J.D. Power scores are configured by surveying roughly 300 of our customers each quarter. The surveys include about 40 questions over six different categories to understand how the customer feels about the service, as well as their thoughts and feelings on the company. The results are measured on a 10-point scale, which are then tabulated and compared against peer panel of 16 other large utility companies in the Northeast on a 1,000-point scale.

So, why are we excited about this?

Customer satisfaction is at the heart of everything we do at PSEG Long Island, rooting back to the core of our mission statement:

graphic 3To build an industry leading electric company dedicated to providing our Long Island and Rockaways customers with exceptional customer service, best-in-class reliability and storm response as well as a strong level of involvement in the communities in which we live and work.”

We’ve also made a commitment to be in the top 25-percent of electric utility providers in the northeast, because above all, our goal is to make things work for you – plain and simple.

But even with these large and consistent improvements over the past few years, PSEG Long Island remains last among Large East Utilities. We’re determined to change that.

Here’s the plan.

Over the next six months, the company will deliver a number of upgrades and enhancements designed to make it easier and more convenient for customers to do business. Customers will soon see an upgraded and replaced My Account platform; a completely redesigned bill, featuring information to help customers better understand and manage their costs and usage; the ability to pay by text; and a totally revamped balanced billing program, which will allow customers to have a more consistent and predictable balanced payment for 12 consecutive months.

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Over 500 PSEG Long Island employees participated in the 2016 Marcum Workplace Challenge at Jones Beach this July.

And there’s more.

For us, customer service doesn’t stop at business/consumer relations. In addition to keeping your lights on and making your interactions with us easier and more convenient, nearly every PSEG Long Island employee participates in giving back to the communities we all call home.

Keep an eye out for us across Long Island and be sure to follow our Facebook and Twitter pages to find out the next time we’ll be in your neighborhood.

The Founding Fathers of Energy

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PSEG Founder Thomas McCarter (center) hosts New Jersey Governor A. Harry Moore (left) an Thomas Edison (right) at the 1926 dedication of the Kearny Generating Station.

Fourth of July is a time to celebrate America and all that has been sacrificed in the name of freedom and independence for this country. And while we recognize men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as the Founding Fathers of this country, let us not forget a separate but equally important group of influential men – the Founding Fathers of Energy, to which we owe a world of ever-progressing power and technology.  Along with the contributions of Andres Celsius, Georg Ohm, Isaac Newton, James Joule and James Watts, the following men are just a few of the key players who built the foundation for the energy we use and understand today.

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin’s list of accomplishments and successes vary from his role as a diplomat and politician, to a printer and scientist. Similarly, his contributions to the energy world are vast and diverse. Franklin was the first to notice the similarities between lightning and electricity, a concept that other scientists had dabbled in but never fully explored. Through observing their parallels, Franklin suggested lightning and electricity were one in the same through his famous key and kite experiment. By tying an iron key to a kite during a storm, he was able to attract lightning and send a charge down the kite’s string. This experiment was the inception of the lightning rod, which absorbs the electrical charge from lightning and sends it to the ground, leaving the respective building undamaged.

Albert Einstein

Like his contemporaries, Albert Einstein made significant steps forward in the world of energy throughout his lifetime, most famously for his mathematical equation about the nature of energy: e = mc2. Einstein argued that any mass has an equal energy, and any energy has an equal mass. Because ‘c,’ which stands for the speed of light in a vacuum, results in such a large number, the German-born scientist further suggested that mass is a highly concentrated form of energy.

Einstein also played a large part in discovering the photoelectric effect, a phenomenon that occurs when a metallic surface is exposed to an electromagnetic radiation above a certain frequency (like x-rays and visible light). When the radiation meets the metallic surface, the light is absorbed and electrons are emitted.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Alva Edison was another instrumental figure in the progress of energy through the 19th and 20th century. Edison learned the fundamentals of energy through his work as a telegraph operator, which lead to his invention of the stock ticker, the world’s first electricity-based broadcast system.

However, Edison’s most well-known invention was the light bulb. Although not the first form of electric light, (that can be credited to Humphry Davy in 1802) the light bulb was the first mass-produced, commercial form of light. Later, Edison went on to develop a system of electric-power generation and distribution and founded the Edison Illuminating Company, one of the first companies to eventually become part of Con Ed. His first power station was on Pearl Street in Manhattan, providing electricity to 59 customers in lower Manhattan.

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was not only an innovator in the world of energy, but his work also elevated the contributions of other great scientists like Edison and Franklin. Tesla’s inventions ranged from the inception of radio, the remote control, x-rays, neon signs and more; but perhaps his most influential work was the invention of AC power and the AC motor, which is used to run household appliances like washers and dryers. His goal was to power a motor solely through alternating currents. To do this, Tesla patented a rotating magnetic field that would allow alternating current to power an engine without being converted into a direct current first. This process was later used to create AC generators and transformers.

These are just four of the powerful figures who helped create and support many of the electric devices we use today. Have a favorite scientist responsible for your go-to gadget? Share your energy inspiration in the comment section and see the links below for more information.

For more information, check out the links below:

Benjamin Franklin

Nikola Tesla

Thomas Edison

Albert Einstein

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Mike Voltz – Director of Energy Efficiency and Renewables, PSEG Long Island

Get Set For Summer

GET SET FOR

Summer is officially here and families across Long Island are starting to shake out last year’s beach towels and blow up pool toys in anticipation of the warm weather. But higher temperatures can often mean higher energy bills, as the need for air conditioning and fans increases.

Don’t sweat it – these tips can help you save money and energy this season.

  • PUMP IT UP: Swapping out your pool pump for a more energy-efficient pump is a green choice for both the environment and your wallet. We offer our customers up to $350 in rebates if they upgrade to an ENERGY STAR® pool pump. Plus, more efficient pump replacements cost less, since they last up to three times longer than a single-speed pump. For more information on how to redeem a rebate or tips for upgrading pool equipment, visit our pool pump page, here.
  • COOL FOR THE SUMMER: The urge to flip on the AC in blistering heat can be hard to deny – but your electric bill doesn’t have to suffer the consequences. Customers can save up to $500 a year on their bills with two rebate programs when they upgrade to new, high-efficiency central air conditioning. The first option allows customers to choose a contractor from our Cool Homes Program and receive a rebate of up to $1,000; the other option allows customers to purchase a high-efficiency central air conditioner or mini-split system from any licensed contractor for a rebate up to $350. For more information on the rebate programs, visit our Cool Homes Program section.
  • SEAL THE DEAL: Sealing up holes and cracks around doors and weather-stripping window AC units ensures that cool air (and money) won’t go out the window.
  • HOME ALONE: Don’t bother cooling an empty home. Setting thermostats at a higher temperature when no one is home will help cut down on costs and energy consumption from an air conditioner.
  • STOCK UP: Keeping your fridge full has benefits for more than just midnight snack cravings. A fully stocked refrigerator takes longer to warm up when the door is open, meaning it takes less power to stay cool.

For more tips on how to stay cool, check out our summer tips press release.

Happy Child Swimming

PLAY IT SAFE
While we encourage conservation as a priority for customers, we also want to remind our customers across Long Island and in the Rockaways to practice safety this season. June is National Safety Month and, whether you’re hopping in the pool or headed to the back deck for some home improvement, it’s important to use caution during whatever activity you’re doing.

Here are a few tips for staying safe this summer.

  • SPARKS FLY: Keeping any kind of electrical device away from water sources like pools and hot tubs is a must. Instead, opt for battery operated electrical devices outside. Additionally, never hand electrical devices to others when your hands are wet.
  • LICENSE TO DRILL: Always consult a qualified, licensed electrician to perform any electrical work on air conditioners and other cooling equipment.
  • ELECTRIC FEEL: Summer is a great time for do-it-yourself projects, but practice caution when using power tools. Be sure equipment avoids coming in contact with live electrical wires, and warn family members to watch their step if the wire extends across the floor.Air Conditioning Repair
  • THROUGH THE WIRE: Avoid any contact with downed electric wires. If you see a wire down, call 911 and our emergency line at 800-490-0075. If the wire is making contact with a vehicle, do not touch any metal in the car and stay put until help arrives.
  • SHOOTS & LADDERS: Remember to keep all ladders far away from electrical lines, and avoid contact with wires while climbing ladders to trim tree
  • CALL ME MAYBE DEFINITELY: Before putting in that fence or planting that tree, customers are required by New York State to call 811 and request a mark-out from professionals to ensure they don’t hit any underground pipelines, conduits, wires or cables. The call is free, and a smart and safe way to avoid injuries and disruptions to vital utility services.

Check out our video for more tips on how to stay safe this summer.

Hurricane Season Is Here & We’re Ready

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For many, early June marks the precursor to summer, filled with graduations, BBQs, boating and more. And whether you’re gearing up for beach season or celebrating the end of the school year, it’s important to remember that this season can also bring some fierce weather.

June 1 is the official start of hurricane season and it’s predicted to be a busy one. But don’t let the threat of a storm rain on your parade. Here at PSEG Long Island, we’ve been working hard to improve our infrastructure and expand the ways we communicate with our customers to ensure reliability and timely information during a hurricane or any wild weather event.

WHAT WE’RE DOING:

In May, we partnered with representatives from the Long Island Power Authority, the New York Department of Public Service and various town leaders for our annual hurricane preparedness drill. The day-long exercise replicated a collective response to a hurricane, and covered all aspects of safety, logistics and communicating with the public. And in the fourth year since Superstorm Sandy, the drill continues to remind us how important it is to coordinate with all municipalities. The drill also gave us an opportunity to showcase our Mobile Command Center, a hub of technology set up in heavily damaged areas during large-scale emergencies and outages. The Command Center features Wi-Fi, televisions with satellite display newsfeeds, work stations and more to help our crews work faster and more efficiently.

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Feb. 24, 2015 storm damage

Dave Daly, our president and chief operating officer, stressed the importance of communication at a May 31 press conference along with Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone ;Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, Long Island Red Cross Interim CEO Liz Barker; and Bob DeMarinis, vice president of maintenance and construction New York’s Gas National Grid, saying:

“With regard to being ready for storms, we have made a number of enhancements, starting with technology enhancements that will allow us first and foremost to communicate more effectively with elected officials, with local communities and with our customers,” he said.

IMG_0476“As the county executives have both mentioned, communications during these events are absolutely critical. Technology will also help us to communicate more effective, efficiently, particularly when we bring in thousands of crews during a storm such as Superstorm Sandy, to dispatch and deploy those crews in a more effective and efficient manner and keep them productive.”

PSEG Long Island has also taken big steps to bolster our system for storms, spending more than $500 million on equipment upgrades in just two years. We’ve put in a new substation in South Manor to help the growing need for electricity in Brookhaven; expanded the Amagansett substation in East Hampton to mitigate voltage risks; and have installed a new transmission cable between East Garden City and Meadowbrook substations to maintain reliable service to Nassau University Medical Center and the surrounding area, among other major projects.

Similarly, we’re continuing our storm hardening program, funded by FEMA, to strengthen the main-line primary wires that were most damaged by Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. This also includes tree removal, strengthening the poles, and installing stronger and more resilient wires.

To see what we’re doing in and around your neighborhood, visit our Current Initiatives section.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

While PSEG Long Island continues to prepare for whatever the summer weather may bring, we encourage you to do the same. Start by registering for MyAlerts – a quick and easy way to report power outages and receive status updates by text. Simply text REG to PSEGLI (773454). Also, take the time now to bookmark our mobile-friendly Outage Center.

Here are a few other suggestions for how to get ready for a storm:

  • Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date information on outages, restoration, etc.
  • Charge cell phones, tablets and other devices
  • Compile a list of emergency phone numbers, including our Emergency Outage line at 1-800-490-0075 and our Customer Service number, 1-800-490-0025
  • Fill up your car’s fuel tank
  • Make sure to have cash available
  • Create an emergency communication plan
  • Discuss storm prep and safety with your family

Get Plugged IN — To savings for small businesses

 

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Welcome to Plugged IN, PSEG Long Island’s new blog. Here you will find the latest information about how to lower your bills, how to save money upgrading your home or business, how we are improving reliability, and everything else about how we serve Long Island and the Rockaways.

We are kicking off Plugged IN during National Small Business Week. As vice president of customer service, this makes me the perfect person to write the very first post.

Small businesses are the backbone of the economy — on Long Island, in the Rockaways, and all across the nation. They are responsible for creating nearly two-thirds of new jobs in the country each year, and they employ more than half of all Americans.

If there’s one thing I know from working with our economic development team, it’s that saving money is more important to small business owners than anyone else. Every extra dollar doesn’t go to shareholders — it goes toward paying a mortgage, buying dinner, or paying an employee.

That’s why I’m so proud of what we are achieving at PSEG Long Island with our energy efficiency programs. It all starts with a free energy consultation, when an expert walks through the business, gathers historical usage data, and identifies appliances or fixtures that could be upgraded. We take all this information and create a report that’s custom-tailored to each individual business. Then we help identify every discount and rebate a business owner can utilize to make these upgrades affordable.

The end result is that these businesses save twice: Once when they purchase the new equipment, and then every month, when they save hundreds—or even thousands—on their electricity bill.

As an example, let’s look at the Park Bake Shop in Kings Park. Owner Gabe Shtanko was able to get nearly $23,000 in rebates for LED lighting and new refrigerator motor controls. They are expected to save more than $12,000 a year on their power bill.

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“We weren’t sure where to start when it came to reducing energy costs,” Shtanko said. “PSEG Long Island made it easy and we’re now looking forward to savings for years to come.”

The Park Bake Shop isn’t the only business getting in on these offers. In 2015, our commercial customers completed more than 3,200 energy efficient projects, resulting in electric bill savings of $20 million. Of those projects, nearly 70 percent were small- and medium-sized businesses.

National Small Business Week is the ideal time to tell you about our program, but you can take advantage of it all year round. Just go to https://www.psegliny.com/page.cfm/SaveMoney to get started.