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State budget to grant PSC expanded authority to hold utility companies accountable

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ALBANY - Reforms set in the state 2013-14 budget call for strengthening the oversight and enforcement mechanisms of the Public Service Commission to ensure electric and gas utility companies are held accountable to regulators and customers. The following reforms were developed by the Moreland Commission, which was established during the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

n Tougher penalties for violations: The PSC will now be able to recover more robust civil penalties for violating state law, regulations, or PSC orders and will no longer need to bring penalty cases to court.

n Aggressive oversight: The PSC will now be able to undertake a more comprehensive review of utility planning and performance.

n Improved emergency preparedness: The implemented reforms will require utilities to undertake more robust emergency preparedness planning and oversight.

n Stronger accountability: The PSC will now be able to take whatever measures necessary, including revoking certificates and requiring utilities to divest assets, to ensure that utilities are continually able to provide safe and adequate service.

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