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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.