Installation Is Part Of Utility's $1 Billion Post-Sandy Effort

LARCHMONT, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Utility companies can’t always stop trees from coming down, but Con Edison is trying to reduce the number of people who lose power when trees do come down.

In the wake of superstorm Sandy, linemen installed a so-called “smart switch” high atop a pole on leafy Vanderburgh Avenue in Larchmont on Friday.

“If a tree comes down, in the past, 900 customers would’ve been out of service. Now only about 450 customers would have been out of service,” CEO Kevin Burke said.

The utility will install 235 of the remotely operated switches in Westchester County and in the five boroughs, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

“In addition to these more sophisticated switches, we’ve also been putting in a lot isolation devices that might be manual,” Burke said.

“At the same time, we’re also looking to provide better information to our customers,” Burke added.

This is all part of a $1 billion plan for storm protection measures over the next four years, roughly half of which will be dedicated to strengthening the electric distribution system.

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