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Hearings begin on review of LIPA by outside consulting firm

The Long Island Island Power Authority logo is

The Long Island Island Power Authority logo is shown in this undated photo.

LIPA customers who paid $1.6 million for an in-depth review of the electric utility by an outside consulting firm will get the chance to offer direction on the scope of the audit at hearings Tuesday and Wednesday.

The hearings, starting Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Nassau Legislative Building, start a yearlong review of LIPA and PSEG Long Island that will examine their budgets and budgeting processes, overall efficiency, rates, performance and compliance with debt agreements. Ratepayers who attend the hearings can offer additional suggestions for the audit.

The last audit, released in September, 2013, found among many shortcomings that LIPA didn’t have a plan to control rates over time, didn’t have a systemwide continuous improvement program, and had “significant need” for a management team with more utility experience. LIPA has since hired PSEG to replace National Grid to manage the grid, and customer satisfaction has steadily increased.

LIPA’s board passed a resolution to start the audit by NorthStar Consulting Group at a fee not to exceed $1.635 million.

Following the Valentine’s Day hearing in Nassau tonight at 1550 Franklin Ave., Mineola, a second session will be held Wednesday at the William H. Rogers Legislative Building, 725 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Hauppauge.

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