3 thoughts on “West End Blackout”

  1. Why is it always the west end?
    Having lived on the west end most of my life this is a typical summer occurrence. It appears to happen more than any section of New Rochelle Any guesses as to why? Btw I lost power at 730 its about to be 5 hours. ConEd said 11 i hope that isn’t AM tomorrow!

    1. The problem in the West End and in South New Rochelle
      The problem in the West End, is that as the heart of the former Village of New Rochelle, it has among the oldest infrastructure in the City of New Rochelle.

      Much of South New Rochelle’s infrastucture has aged, deteroriated and needs repair or replacement. Instead, New Rochelle has continued to over-build and put more burdens on our infrastructure.

      New Rochelle’s priorities have been eskew for the last 50 years, and need to be reconsidered, rather than continuing on automatic pilot.

      Only after rebuilding and enhancing our infrastructure, would it make sense for New Rochelle to encourage massive development in New Rochelle south of Eastchester Rd.

  2. More Calls=More Power
    1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633)

    Many people think that “someone else called” or “someone else must have called” so they do not call themselves. BAMP! Wrong Answer.

    Con Edison prioritizes service restoration based on the number of people effected by the power outage. So, the more customers who call, the higher the priority.

    Internally, the way their system works is that if they get a call from a particular customer about loss of power they create an incident report based on THAT customer. From that point on, they add all other calls to that incident report. If there are two power outages in the same area it can also happen that they fix one and, having assigned all the calls in that area to one incident report they consider the case to be closed. So, you also have to be aware that if power goes on for people in your area but not for you that you should call back and make very sure that they still have your incident OPEN.

    You can get $350 back for any incident that results in a power loss of more than 12 hours; the Public Service Commission requires that customers are entitled to be reimbursed for losses. The most common one is food spoilage due to freezers and refrigerators not staying cold.

    In my neighborhood of about 300 customers (Highland Park) I was able to use that fact to put pressure on Con Edison to address annual, seasonal power outages (summer but also around Christmas). I obtained the reimbursement form, made copies with a message on the back explaining the plan. The idea was to get every Con Ed customer in our neighborhood to file for reimbursement for the maximum amount allowed (you need grocery store receipts). 300 customers x $350 is $105,000 per incident that Con Ed must pay.

    That particular summer we had FOUR power outages of more than 12 hours in less than a week — so $420,000 in potential reimbursement.

    I then wrote to Con Edison on behalf of the neighborhood (and created a web site for my neighborhood) explaining what we were doing.

    The most likely reason an area has regular power outages is that there are too many customers using too much power for the feeder lines that run into that area. The solution is to split the load among two more lines. That costs money and Con Ed does not want to pay that just because a neighborhood loses power a few times a year due to overload.

    The trick is to make it CHEAPER for them to add additional lines than it is to do nothing and the only real leverage a neighborhood has is the freezer/refrigerator reimbrusement.

    My advice is for the West End to organize around this, get the form, put it on the web (here will do) and distribute copies with the form on one side and an explanation of the plan on the other and encourage customers to fill them out and seek reimbursement.

    There should be a meeting to discuss this and contact made with Con Ed to advise them that the neighborhood is getting organized on this point.

    In our case, Con Edison responded to an invitation for a meeting in our neighborhood. They brought their TOP executive from Bronx/Westchester Con Ed, technical people and the head of NR DPW. The meeting was PACKED and out for blood. Before we really got started, Con Ed announced that in the days prior to the meeting they had split our neighborhood’s line into two lines. That was great news and calmed everyone down.

    Since then we have (knock wood) not a single “overload” power outage — six years.

    We do lose power sometimes due to a tree limb falling. Half the neighborhood lost power during Sandy (my half was the half WITH power which both allowed me to keep publishing Talk of the Sound throughout Sandy and the recovery)

    Bottom line.

    1. Call, Call, Call — everyone must call when you lose power.

    2. Make the Pay – if you go past 12 hours, get everyone to collect their $350. That REALLY adds up fast and gets their attention.

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