LIPA, not ready for prime time

The LIPA map of Long Island says it.

Lipa is a government-owned utility.  And people are suspicious of FEMA?  But its funny that this is a target of the anger with the power situation.  They demand government intervention to solve the problems. Then you have their subcontractor’s officials saying things like “I am completely comfortable” with the performance so far.

LIPA’s logo is “A committment to Superior service, accountability and transparency.”

Our Mission

Our Mission is to provide highly reliable and economical electric service through our valued workforce with a commitment to superior customer service, accountability and transparency in all of our operations, while being recognized as a leader in the advancement of efficiency and renewable energy.

But the reports are completely contrary to their statement. They run old mainframe computers and use antiquated paper maps. And then the company officials cannot even face people at a press conference. They send their subcontractor (National Grid) out to give statements. Transparency? Even when there is a mining disaster a company spokesperson is provided.

LIPA is: A non-profit municipal electric provider, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the 2nd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, 3rd largest in terms of customers served and the 7th largest in terms of electricity delivered. In 2010, LIPA outperformed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State for frequency of service interruptions, and ranked second for duration of service interruptions. LIPA does not provide natural gas service or own any on-island generating assets.

Outperformed all other OVERHEAD electric utilities in NY? Notice they did not mention 2011 when Irene swept through. Then the spokesman for the subcontractor says he is “completly comfortable” with their response. They aren’t even admitting problems. Some municipal electric provider.

Wikipedia: “LIPA caught much media criticism in their response to Super Storm Sandy.[and Irene] This raised questions about government-owned corporations and the monopoly they form.”

This was a previous article in July questioning the capabilities of LIPA in a disaster situation.

Long Island Press Cover Story: How Will LIPA and National Grid Handle LI’s Next Hurricane?

Concerning local environmentalists, energy advocates and politicians are revelations questioning LIPA’s ability to meet the Island’s growing energy demands as well as resolve criticisms regarding its current management structure, power contracts and emergency response—many of which were detailed in recently released audits commissioned by New York State and Suffolk County.
In the immediate days ahead, Raacke, like every Long Islander, can only hope that during this hurricane season—which lasts until Nov. 30—LIPA and National Grid, the British-based contractor that runs the transmission system and the gas power generation here, won’t repeat last year’s mistakes, which left thousands of customers in the dark for up to nine days, drawing heat from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who told National Grid after Irene hit on Aug. 28 to “get the power on now!”

Long Island elected officials joined in the governor’s denunciation, and their outrage over the outage may have influenced LIPA’s Board of Trustees’ decision last fall to award its $3.9-billion contract to run the electric system to PSEG, a New Jersey-based utility, which will take over from Nat Grid on Jan. 1, 2014. Complicating matters, Nat Grid will still maintain and operate its natural gas and power generation facilities on LI, retaining some 1,200 to 1,300 workers, which adds to the confusion about what will happen when the next hurricane comes and PSEG needs more emergency crews to handle downed electric lines.

Why LIPA failed: Utility ignored warnings it wasn’t ready for major storm

Originally published: November 8, 2012

The Long Island Power Authority’s agonizingly slow response to Sandy came after warnings as far back as 2006 that the utility was unprepared to handle a major storm, failed to upgrade antiquated technology, neglected vital maintenance and regularly underbudgeted for storm response.

A state report and a review of records show that the regional utility lagged behind industry standards by not using smartphones and digital tablets — and at times even printers or fax machines — in favor of pen-and-paper memos and dial-up Internet access.

The utility’s critically important power outage management system, which helps direct the recovery response, operates on a 25-year-old mainframe computer that was cited as one of the biggest shortcomings in the utility’s response to Tropical Storm Irene in August of last year.

17 comments on “LIPA, not ready for prime time

  1. One of the great untold stories, Bullright.

    Our electric grid is an embarrassment. I’ve only heard it from a couple of places recently, but we’ve all known it for years: if we had addressed this over the last 20 years, there’s no reason why we couldn’t have reinforced/buried ALL of our electric lines so a storm/hurricane/etc.,… wouldn’t affect the delivery system.

    But no, we’d rather obsess over soft drink sizes and birth-control.

    “Priorities”: government can’t even define the word.


    • bullright says:

      You got that right. Great comment. But they want to spend billions on algae and green political causes, whiile ignoring the obvious threats. They want nanny when nanny doesn’t work.


  2. clyde says:

    Just think,it’ll be geniuses like LIPA running healthcare. As to the poor folks who are cold and dark,I sypathize with you to a point. When the non-union contractors were turned away,YOU sat back and said NOTHING. Y’all should have been storming the mayors,governor,LIPA offices,whatever,DEMANDING those who traveled long distances to help, be able to. Next time (and there will be) remember WHO stood in the way of your power being restored.


  3. Davetherave says:

    Bull; good post. I’m sure a story will come out soon stating LIPA is ran by Bush and it’s his fault! Our electrical systems are so old I’m surprised they work at all and Heaven forbid the gov spend any money on upgrading. They are talking about getting the Danish over here to build some windmills though. Shit; what a joke. Back to the caves for us and the EnviroNazi’s will still be mad, because the bears had to move out of them…


    • bullright says:

      Dave, LOL funny but that is reality. I don’t think they found someone to blame for their problems with Irene yet. Too mad people have to live under these clusterbutts.


  4. pepperhawk says:


    What a disastrous mess. Government inefficiency to the max.

    Also, did you know this one Bull? When the governor ordered the National Guard to go into NYC to help because people were freezing, no food, no water, Bloomberg told the National Guard to leave. He said, “you carry guns, so get out of NYC?. I could not believe my ears.

    Also, the people voted for Obama. I saw them say so on TV. This is another case of morons. FEMA was doing a terrible job not getting to people.

    One thing that struck me is these people did not seem to have a clue on how to help one another. They are so used to getting their help from government, they don’t have any survival skills.

    For ex: I saw this guy screaming at Bloomberg that there were 90 year old people in the buildings he pointed to and said they have nothing. Well, I thought, instead of yelling at Bloomberg because he doesn’t give a hoot anyway, these same people could have gathered all the elderly in that building and put them into one room where they could share body warmth with one another. They may have not been completely comfortable, but lots of people closely together could have made them warmer.

    And these people looked like they had food and water. So couldn’t they have brought food and water to these elderly ones?

    This is not the kind of thing that happens in the Midwest and other states in the south because the people gather together to help one another, not just stand there and scream at the mayor.


    • bullright says:

      Pepp, You are right. It did expose the inefficiency of gov — like what doesn’t — but it exposed the ineffective people too. Anyone thinking screaming at Bloomberg would solve anything has to be misguided. Funny he wants to tell them how much salt or soda they can have, and regulate every bodily function, but it comes to this and he basically says kiss off or talk to my communications person. Every phase of it looks like chaos. Any physical help they do get will be from people not the pols or gubmint. But this gov tied utility is screwing people and then they demand government intervention. It baffles me. Cuomo has to ask himself why they didn’t straighten out this utility before? Now they want to complain about it.


      • pepperhawk says:


        Bloomberg gives me a royal PIA. Right, he wants to control everyone’s eating habits, what they drink and smoke, but he hasn’t got the time of day for the victims of this Sandy disaster.

        I see pictures on TV and it looks so horrible. The devastation is immense. And for Bloomberg to tell the National Guard to get out is beyond the pale.

        My ex was in the National Guard. He went out on many disaster relief situations. Those guys got rid of debris, helped get food and water to folks and just because they carry guns, does not mean they are going to shoot anyone. How ridiculous can Bloomberg get? He makes himself look like the biggest fool. I hope NYC gets a different mayor at some point.

        But the people standing around doing nothing but scream need to learn a bit about “working together’. This should prove to them that big government is not the answer.

        When we were hit with the ice storm in 2009 it was a mess. The temps in the house were falling faster each day. We had no power, but Ron fixed up a makeshift little cooker and got us some hot coffee and food. We survived it by all of us, including the dog, all hanging together on the bed covered up to our ears. LOL! We even wore knit on our heads to keep heat from escaping. But, we made it through. Other parts of KY were hit much harder, but they got thru it by banding together. We never saw any FEMA trucks or national guard in this remote and isolated area so it was sink or swim on your own.


        • bullright says:

          Pepp, you said it. It was the same here. But why is it you soon learn that everyone is on the same side (or should), but it seems like these gov officials are on the other side? As Clyde suggested, they should remember “next time”. But judging by this g-owned utility which failed just last year, they don’t seem to learn. If I spent all my time screaming nothing would get done.


          • pepperhawk says:

            I don’t know the answer to that first question Bull. The government seems to never be on our side and that is just not right. But, then again, the Butcher of Benghazi doesn’t give a rat’s ass about we Americans. He hates us.

            That is so typical of the government, they never learn from their mistakes and wasted tax dollars. They just do the same thing over and over thinking they will get it this time. That is the definition of being crazy.

            This time around there is a special craziness being run by the Butcher.

            That utility company never learns either and leaves people in the same situation every time.

            Right, I’d rather find a way to do something myself than have the government and their agencies. Hell, a person could wait for years and have.


    • bullright says:

      Pepp, I’m getting ready to see a big phony photo-op when the rat goes to NYC. Maybe he can make a speech, that will do it? (Bloomberg and his gun-phobia is a hoot)


      • pepperhawk says:


        Oh bloody hell. I can just imagine that photo op when the rat gets to it. And he must because he wants to be adored by the NYC and N.J resident. However for those people where things went horribly wrong and not seeing a FEMA truck when they were in the 11 day of the disaster, I’m not so sure those people would feel so utterly grateful. Who knows. If he senses their is hostility on how things were handled he won’t show his face. And remember he’s leaving soon for his “Asian Summit” which is just another vacation trip in reality. Here we go again, the leader of America, pushing his duties aside as usual by flying off to some place. He has no intention of governing any more than he did his first term. I hope the morons who voted for him open their eyes. But I doubt it.

        Yeah, it’s a hoot about Bloomberg. He must have a terrible phobia about guns. He acts so ridiculous over it. I wonder if he believes our soldiers in Afghanistan should be without guns too? He’s that crazy if ya ask me.


        • bullright says:

          Pepp, and to think Bloomy was going to run for prez. Wait till they scream at Obama. It won’t go over well. He can’t even deal with a real question. Obama’s name should be tied to Benghazi permanently. Libya was his other great accomplishment. Everything he touches turns rotten.

          That’s right, he hates us like he does, and with his revenge he detests everything but his personal agenda. He runs over there thinking congress will cleanup his problems. No-budget-Obama. I bet that drives Rand Paul crazy. That’s why he had no plan, he expects everyone else to do it. Then he’ll take credit for it. Just like he did.


          • pepperhawk says:


            Oh good lord, I hope to hell he never runs for prez. Although i think we just had our last election.

            So right, the coward Butcher of Benghazi can barely deal with anything. I heard he gave a small press conference the other day, I can’ t recall what about, but he did not allow any of the press any questions. Just so like the monster.

            LMAO! “everything he touches turns rotten”. Truer words have not been spoken as the saying goes.

            That was my thought too, he runs to Asia while we’re about to go over the fiscal cliff which everyone is scared to death over and will leave his flunkies to do the work. What has he ever done that is good? I can’t find one thing good about him. People like him??? Like what???

            Oh, you can bet your boots this drives Rand Paul nuts. The Butcher is everything Rand is NOT. He does not believe in any of his policies and sends us petitions all the time to sign for abortion bans except for rape and the health of the mother. He hates his stand on banning guns. He sends us petitions on that too all the time.

            Rand has a great budget. It gets rid of all the unconstitutional agencies. Can you imagine the Butcher’s face seeing that? He just keeps creating more agencies, now this stupid small business agency? And WTH is that for? Just to grow more big government.

            Yeah, he takes the credit for what other people do and the things he does wrong he blames on Bush. Good grief, will the Alinsky party ever stop blaming Bush?


        • bullright says:

          Pepp, that’s right, the new business secretary. For crying out loud. He can just call that position ‘the Karl Marx overlord’. And those stooges that believed he SAVED the car industry. Ha ha.

          You got that right, show me one good thing. We can’t count or keep track of all the bad, evil things and he hasn’t even begun his precious 2nd term yet.


          • pepperhawk says:

            LMAO! Your great wit is coming back out! The Karl Marx overlord. Love it.

            Yeah, a big ha, ha to the morons on the car industry. In Ohio, Kasich said only 400 jobs were saved there in Ohio over the “bailing of the auto ind” and poor Kasich who got Ohio back on its feet and created thousands of new jobs got no credit for it. Obama took all the credit for the Ohio economy improving. And the morons believed that dope. I am embarrassed to say I was born in Ohio now.
            Although I have to say the county I lived in voted overwhelmingly for Romney. I lived in one of the solid red counties.

            You are right we cannot count all of the evil deeds of this evil doer. I would like to see Bush back telling this evil doer he’s wanted dead or alive. Hee, Hee.



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