PSC gives utilities a stern warning

ALBANY -- The state Public Service Commission is making it abundantly clear that it wants gas and electric utilities in the state to cut nonessential spending as much as possible next year.

In a tersely worded order issued on Tuesday, the PSC said utilities had essentially ignored previous requests to come up with "austerity plans" that show how they are trying to save money that can be returned to consumers.
"Until the current economic downturn reverses, utilities should employ as many cost-cutting measures as possible," the order states.

Possible cuts include freezing executive salaries, forgoing bonuses and limiting travel along with non-safety related training.

The PSC ordered utilities in New York back in the spring to file austerity plans that would identify potential savings that could be returned to customers.

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