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New Long Island Utility Promises 3-Year Rate Freeze

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - More than a million customers in parts of Queens and Long Island will be getting a new utility at the start of the new year.

As WCBS 880's Monica Miller reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not mince words about the Long Island Power Authority's handling of superstorm Sandy and the snowstorm that followed. Some customers were left in the dark for weeks after Sandy.

"I believe the system is archaic and is obsolete," the governor has said about LIPA. "The management has failed the consumers."

New Long Island Utility Promises 3-Year Rate Freeze

So now, Newark-based PSEG has set up a subsidiary on Long Island.

"First is to significantly improve the level of customer satisfaction on Long Island. We've committed to a three-year rate freeze and to long-term rate stability," said David Daly, president and COO of PSEG Long Island. "We're implementing 80 recommendations for change which will improve the customer experience. And they range from how we communicate with customers during storms, during the balance of the year."

PSEG won a 12-year, $5 billion contract.

"In the aftermath of Sandy, Gov. Cuomo gave us a challenge: he challenged us to not just build back what was there but to build it back better," Daly told Miller.

The utility also has plans to streamline the operation and add new technology.

"It will take work that is done today manually and automate it during storm restoration."

PSEG Long Island will pull the plug on LIPA on Jan. 1.

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