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Councilman hot over Con Ed power outage - Local official reacts after recent shortage

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A Bay Ridge councilman wants to know just what Con Edison is doing with all the money the new “excessive” rate increases are providing them with.

If Sunday’s energy crisis told us anything, it’s that the money is not being used on infrastructure.

And, in Councilman Vincent Gentile’s mind, the average electricity consumer isn’t getting what he’s paying for.

“I’d like Con Edison to tell us what caused their near crisis this past weekend, and why, despite their promises to the contrary,, Con Ed had trouble meeting the energy demands of the area,” Gentile said, referring to Sunday’s sudden power shortage in Sunset Park, Bay Ridge, Park Slope and Borough Park.

While residents in all of these communities were asked to shut off all unnecessary appliances – including air conditioners – at least 1,100 residents in nearby Sunset Park ended up baking in the 90-plus degree weather without any power at all.

Officials at Con Edison said early Sunday morning that four out of the 12 electricity feeders to the grid that serves these communities malfunctioned. An overheated and overtaxed electrical system caused the shortage, they said.

In the hopes of ensuring that more homes and businesses didn’t wink out, Con Edison began spreading the word about the importance of conserving energy.

Besides initializing a phone campaign, Con Edison utilized local cops, who were asked to go from store to store explaining that all non-essential systems had to be shut down.

“Most of [the businesses] were very supportive,” said Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, who spearheaded the NYPD’s side of the initiative in Bay Ridge. “Stores like Bagel Boy shut off everything they could.”

By Sunday afternoon most of the feeders were back on line. By that night, all power was restored, save for “less than 15 customers,” a Con Edison official reported.

Gentile, however, was not impressed by the quick response.

“These regular problems we’ve had with Con Ed make me wonder why my fellow New Yorkers and I continue to pay more and more money for such mediocre service,” he said.

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