It’s been three years since PSEG Long Island first started providing energy to Nassau, Suffolk and the Rockaways. Our mission to provide safe and reliable service to Long Islanders has remained steadfast and 2016 is no exception. The past year also marks a series of exciting milestones for us that extend beyond improving reliability. From launching new technologies to improve our customers’ experience, to giving back to the communities we serve, and beyond, we’re incredibly proud over all we’ve accomplished over the last 12 months. Here’s what we’ve been up to.
Technology changes so rapidly, it can be hard to keep up – so staying ahead of the curve was a top priority for us this year. In 2016, we redesigned the look and feel of our bill and online My Account portal for residential and commercial customers to improve not only aesthetics but usability. The mobile-friendly site allows customers to check their usage, pay a bill, and update contact information, among other features, from any device at any time.
Understanding families’ needs to budget and plan ahead, we also improved our balanced billing program to give customers a consistent, predictable payment for 12 consecutive months. Additionally, we’ve expanded ways a customer can pay, including pay-by-text for those enrolled in My Alerts and registered for My Account.
Our customer service reps are staffed and ready to help 24/7, but sometimes getting on the phone isn’t the most convenient way to report an outage or inquire about restoration updates. Enter our new and improved outage map – view and report outages and their causes; see types of crews assigned to each outage; or find shelters and command centers in case of an emergency.
One of the best tools for long-term rate stability—as well as for managing bills in individual households—is energy efficiency. We’re proud to have helped customers buy more than 3 million LED and CFL light bulbs (nearly three light bulbs for every one of our 1.1 million customers). And, we helped our residential customers purchase more than 8,300 energy-efficient washing machines and dryers, plus recycle more than 3,000 old refrigerators.
Together, our energy efficiency programs saved 290,726 megawatt-hours of electricity through November. In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, that is equivalent to taking 43,158 cars off the road.
Local Reliability Projects
Although we weren’t at the grid’s helm during Superstorm Sandy, the disaster serves as a constant reminder of how devastating Mother Nature can be. In 2015, more than $729 million of federal recovery funds were secured via an agreement between Governor Cuomo and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Assistance Program. This agreement provided the funding to embark on a reliability and resiliency project to further strengthen key electric circuits, improving the reliability of the energy grid for local customers.
With this FEMA funding, we’ve worked on reliability projects in small, localized areas across our service territory. For example, we’ve raised substations in areas prone to flooding like Long Beach and the Rockaways, and trimmed trees in heavily wooded or overgrown neighborhoods.
Since funding was secured, storm hardening and reliability work has started on more than 89 circuits, covering more than 240 miles, from the Rockaways to Southold. FEMA reliability work is planned for more than 300 circuits, which will cover 1,025 miles across the service territory.
Giving back to communities across Long Island is one of our core values. Through the utility’s Community Partnership Program (CPP), we have raised more than $200,000 for local charities in 2016.
PSEG Long Island was the largest participant and fundraiser in the March of Dimes walk as well as the top fundraiser in the Marcum Corporate Challenge in which all benefits went to the Long Island Children’s Museum, the Children’s Medical Fund, Long Island Cares – the Harry Chapin Food Bank, and the Nassau County Society for the Prevention of the Cruelty of Animals. More than 700 employees also came out to support breast cancer prevention and research at the Making Strides walk.
PSEG Long Island employees participated in more than 740 different volunteer events across the service territory, and spent nearly 18,000 hours giving back to charity in 2016. The utility’s commitment to public service has been unwavering since PSEG Long Island’s inception in 2014, and will continue to grow in 2017 and years to come.