HUNTINGTON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A community on Long Island is concerned over a power surge they say damaged appliances in at least 15 homes.
They’re saying PSEG should be responsible for their reimbursement, CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported exclusively on Thursday.
Homeowners claim it wasn’t an act of God, but the result of their utility working on a defective transformer. So why are they left holding the bag for thousands of dollars in damages to their appliances?
“All the power surges melted. It was quite an event. We thought the whole house was going to catch on fire. We later learned that this transformer over here lost it’s neutral connection,” homeowner Paul DeLorenzo said, showing McLogan the situation outside.
Richie Bausano riled over the surge that zapped his neighborhood two weeks ago.
“I’m talking microwaves, refrigerators, ovens, everything,” Bausano said.
Carlow Street residents complained to CBSN New York about what they call an exorbitant expense they must swallow to replace boilers, stoves, ovens, computers, garage doors, and even their video doorbells. They blame PSEG crews that were fixing circuits in an overhead static electrical device transformer two weeks ago, saying homeowners were given no warning to power down to avoid the surge.
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PSEG said the surge was not due to the utility’s conduct, inaction or negligence, but rather the result of “unanticipated equipment failure.” In a letter, the claims adviser for PSEG informed the residents, “It is with regret we must respectfully decline reimbursement of your loss.”
Full PSEG Long Island statement:
PSEG Long Island is committed to providing safe, reliable power to our customers. Service crews responded to the outage call received during a weather event, and followed appropriate measures to repair and restore power. We reviewed our records and found there was no indication of any issues with the equipment prior to the wind and rain experienced in the area at that time. After consideration of the facts and evidence, we found no basis to support a claim of negligence on the part of PSEG Long Island, which is the standard set forth in the LIPA Tariff for Electric Service.
“They are washing their hands, saying ‘It’s not our problem.’ But they are providing a service to their customers and this is clearly an incident and situation that they were at fault,” homeowner Herman Mendoza said.
CBS2 reached out to PSEG for explanation and clarification, but did not immediately get a response.