O&R Dedicates Substation as Summer Power Demand Nears
Attn: Rockland County Editors -- Orange and Rockland Utilities’ executives and Rockland public officials last week dedicated a newly expanded and upgraded electric substation in New Hempstead. This new facility will improve electric service to over 12,000 O&R customers in Clarkstown, Congers, New City, Spring Valley, Wesley Hills, Pomona, New Hempstead and New Square.
The $17.3 million project upgrades and increases the capacity of the existing substation and improves service reliability by increasing the number of circuits emanating from the station from six to 10. This project will help O&R meet high summer demand for electricity. O&R is making investments totaling over $113 million this year to fortify, improve and maintain the reliability of its electric system. That investment builds on the nearly $800 million O&R has invested over the past 10 years on electric system maintenance and reliability projects.O&R also continues to implement the third year of a three-year, $35.5-million construction program to provide additional storm protection at specific strategic electric and gas system locations in an effort to mitigate the impact of severe weather on O&R’s energy system. Those electric system improvements include building additional electric circuits, undergrounding strategic locations where multiple overhead circuits meet on distribution poles and expanding tree-trimming clearances at critical service locations.Significant investments also were made to improve operational efficiencies and information flow by: upgrading technology to enhance electric system monitoring and control capabilities, streamlining the field reporting processes to make them faster and more accurate and redesigning the protocols by which estimated electric service restoration times are established and communicated. In further preparation for high summer electric demand, O&R performed maintenance programs on substation, transmission and distribution equipment, line clearance work in the form of specific tree-trimming projects, infrared inspections and transmission line patrols and distribution equipment testing and inspections. To help its customers use electricity this summer as prudently as possible, O&R is promoting a number of energy efficiency programs for residential, small business and commercial and industrial customers.Since 2009, O&R’s Green Team has helped residential and business customers save more than 72,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy and 16.2 megawatts (MW) of peak demand by implementing a suite of energy-efficiency programs.The energy saved by O&R’s electric and gas programs during that period has reduced carbon emissions by 26,000 tons, or the equivalent of taking 4,300 cars off the road.For additional information about those programs, visit O&R’s Web site at www.oru.com.Electric bills are expected to be lower this summer than last. The typical O&R residential customer in Rockland County using a summer consumption average of 791 kWh (the annual average is 677 kWh) of electricity per month is expected to see that monthly bill decrease 5.5 percent this summer as compared to summer 2014. A summer 2014 monthly bill, which consists of both electric supply and delivery costs, for a typical Rockland residential customer was $182.18. That monthly bill in summer 2015 is expected to decrease $10.02 to $172.16.What can consumers do to help ease unpredictable bills?O&R offers a level-payment program to customers called Budget Billing.Budget Billing does not reduce the overall energy expense. But, it permits customers to spread out their annual energy expense over a 12-month period and lets customers know ahead of time what their monthly payment will be. After 12 months, the company reconciles the estimates with the customer’s actual energy usage.O&R also urges customers to take simple energy-saving steps to reduce their bills while staying comfortable. For additional information about energy efficiency programs, visit O&R’s Web site at www.oru.com.And, customers could also shop for an alternate energy supplier that could possibly offer a lower competitive price for the energy supply portion of the bill. (http://www.oru.com/programsandservices/ebids/index.html)There are several ways customers can report outages and check service restoration status: * Go to www.oru.com from any computer or web-enabled mobile device; * Use the O&R mobile app from your iPhone, iPad or Android device; * Text “OUT” to 69678 (myORU); or * Call Customer Assistance at 1-877-434-4100Go to www.oru.com/mobileconnect to learn more about our mobile communication options.