Thiele Blasts PSEG Long Island Over Southampton Outages, Surges

A PSEG truck responds to a downed line after a tree fell in Eastport.
A PSEG truck responds to a downed line after a tree fell in Eastport. Photo credit: Brendan J. O'Reilly

New York State Assemblyman Fred Thiele said in a press release Wednesday that “persistent” power surges in the Village of Southampton are hurting businesses—damaging or destroying expensive equipment and electronics—and he accused power company PSEG Long Island of failing to address the problems and make recompense.

According to Thiele’s office, power surges and service interruptions affecting Jobs Lane occurred on September 8th, 2013, November 17th, 2013, September 22nd, 2014, December 8th, 2014, and December 30th, 2014. The outages were attributed to defective bolt connections, failing transformers and other equipment failures.

“During these outages, equipment such as computers, furnace controls, credit card machines, lighting, restaurant food storage units, and surveillance cameras were damaged,” Thiele’s office stated. “Single businesses have had damages amounting up to $60,000 and the Village of Southampton has had to replace nearly $10,000 in equipment.”

Business owners submitted claims for reimbursements, but were denied.

In a statement, PSEG Long Island maintained that the utility properly reviewed the claims and is not liable.

“PSEG Long Island thoroughly reviews and investigates all claims on behalf of the Long Island Power Authority,” PSEG stated. “In accordance with the LIPA Tariff, the claims in question were denied. PSEG Long Island is committed to providing reliable service, however if service is interrupted due to causes beyond our control, neither The Authority nor PSEG Long Island are liable.”

Thiele remarked, “I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll say it again—The LIPA Reform Act did absolutely nothing. PSEG is not more accountable to its ratepayers or the small businesses that hold the East End’s economy together. PSEG-LI must grant these claims and pay for the damage they caused.”

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