New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG), a subsidiary of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE: AGR), today announced that it has been named Edison Electric Institute (EEI) Emergency Response Award recipient. NYSEG received the EEI Emergency Recovery Award for its efforts to restore power to more than 200,000 customers after the April 18, 2022 snowstorm.
“We are so proud of all our employees, contractors and community partners who worked together to restore power to our customers as quickly and safely as possible,” said Pedro Azagra, CEO of AVANGRID. “Our team of more than 3,000 field personnel from NYSEG and our contractors, as well as sister companies Central Maine Power (CMP), Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) and United Illuminating (UI), responded to this storm with urgency and professionalism. While this recognition is for our efforts in April, we have remained committed to serving our customers without interruption throughout the pandemic, even when other industries shut down.”
The storm caused record snowfall and heavy damage to the company’s infrastructure in the Binghamton and Oneonta divisions. Heavy, wet snow downed trees and branches, took down more than 2,200 wires, damaged 30 transmission lines and broke over 210 poles across the service areas. Crews pre-staged the day before the storm hit and immediately began responding as soon as the storm came through, clearing roads and hazards that posed a danger to the public and hampered travel in the area.
Restoration began with company and contract crews committed to restoring service as quickly and safely as humanly possible. Many repairs were in difficult off-road locations where equipment had to be brought in on foot. NYSEG continued to request and onboard more line and tree crews, damage assessors and wire guards throughout the restoration.
Presented to EEI member companies, the Emergency Response Awards recognize recovery and assistance efforts of electric companies following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events. The winners were chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process, and the awards were presented during EEI’s Board of Directors meeting on June 21, 2022. NYSEG’s sister company Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) also received recognition for its recovery efforts following the December 2021 wind storm that caused outages for more than 54,000 RG&E customers and nearly 172,000 NYSEG customers.
“Over the past year, electric companies confronted severe storms and extreme weather events, including hurricanes, tornadoes, and winter storms, that impacted customers and communities across the nation,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn. “Despite challenging conditions, NYSEG and its employees worked around the clock to restore power safely and as quickly as possible following the April snowstorm. I congratulate and applaud NYSEG and their employees for their continued dedication to the customers and communities that they serve, and I am honored to present them with this well-deserved award.”
NYSEG is making significant investments in its infrastructure, including those that will make the system more resilient against storms. The company is also increasing investments in tree trimming, as more than half of all outages are attributable to trees and branches coming into contact with electric equipment.