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David M. Daly Vice President-LIPA Transition. spons BRT
August 16, 2013 @ 12:00 am EDT
Today’s speaker was Dave Daly, Vice President of PSE&G – LIPA transition.
Mr. Daly comes from a service area that has many similarities to Long Island. That experience lends itself to operating on Long Island with confidence. Mr. Daly outlined a number of initiatives. As he put it "PSE&G will be putting plans together so that they can hit the ground running" on January 1, 2014.
Daly suggested that a mundane operation such as tree trimming is like changing the oil on your car. If you don’t do it not much happens at first, but you set yourself up for failure over time. Examining the system when everything is normal sometimes gets left out when budgets are running out near the end of the year. That can be avoided by using realistic and disciplined procedures. The same is true with pole inspections. Poles deteriorate, and if you do not check them for decay and equipment deterioration they will fail, eventually.
He spent some time on communications as well. There is a need to keep the public informed and these procedures. Investments in technology that will facilitate these goals will be made. Mr. Daly stressed the need to be an active part of the community and being at LIMBA was just part of that process.
Mr Daly addressed the unions, and the inference was that unions are partners more than adversaries. Good relations with the unions are expected and the union people in the room appeared to be happy with the new situation.
Daly referred to Key Process Improvements. 80 recommendations are anticipated including Storm Process and Asset Management
Questions came up about alternative energy. As solar and wind become more available and installed there has to be constant accommodation for the new technology. I pointed out that as privately produced power using solar increases that will almost certainly decrease the rate base making the remainder of the people carry more of the debt burden. Daly seemed to think that the new sources would be embraced. I don’t know how that will play out, but I do know that we are not going back to a time when these sources of power are not part of the mix.
The competency of the company is accepted as believable. The service area in New Jersey is about double the size of the LIPA system yet they were able to restore power to more customers in at less cost than LIPA.
LIPA is a high cost system to operate and much of that cost is attributable to the debt that was not incurred by the ratepayers, but was imposed upon us by Albany. Despite the fact that I am hopeful that PSE&G will bring about much needed improvements, they will not be able to overcome that basic problem.