ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — NYSEG is set to pay a massive multi-million dollar penalty over its failure to properly prepare for a series of storms that hit western new york in the winter and spring of 2018.
According to the New York State Public Service Commission, the $10.5 million settlement is the largest penalty payment ever for a company's failure to follow a utility emergency response plan.
The state claims both NYSEG and RG&E failed to, "adequately prepare for and restore service after storms in 2018 swept through their service territories and left more than 300,000 homes and businesses without power, in the dark and in the cold."
“Utilities have a duty to their customers to be prepared for a storm and to restore power as safely and as quickly as possible,” said Commission Chair John B. Rhodes. “Our decision today clearly demonstrates that if the utility fails to do that, the company’s shareholders will be held accountable.”
In addition to the penalty, NYSEG will also hire 20 new employees and dedicate at least 175 additional workers to help with storm restoration responsibilities.