PSC faults utilities for service failures

Two Central New York electric utilities were cited Wednesday for their service-quality failures by the state Public Service Commission.

National Grid has paid a $14.2 million rebate to customers to atone for failing two service-quality measures during 2007. And New York State Electric & Gas, although it paid no financial penalty, has been ordered to conduct a rigorous self-assessment after recording its "worst performance . . in the past 20 years," according to PSC officials.

In both cases, regulators attributed the high number of power failures mainly to aging equipment and contact between power lines and trees. In National Grid's case, PSC officials said they think the trend is getting better. In the case of NYSEG, matters appear to be getting worse, they said.

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