The expensive LIPA Edge program is designed to reduce electric demand in an emergency shortage of electric capacity. During the recent heat wave LIPA did not trigger the program because it had more than enough capacity on hand and also had thousands of outages due to distribution failures. On top of this, LIPA did not want to lose revenue by cutting back demand at a time when its finances are being critically challenged.
The most important messages coming out of this recent situation for LIPA are that: first, it has committed to an excessive amount of very costly electric capacity; second, it has some very serious distribution problems during hot weather; and finally, it has waisted ratepayer dollars on an Edge program that it does not need and cannot use.
For those confused by this latest in a long series of negative LIPA revelations, the Edge program is aimed at reducing instantaneous electric demand, not necessarily energy consumption. The latter would be more appropriately achieved through cost effective efficiency programs. This is where the money should be spent and not on demand programs which may be the politically correct thing to do.
For LIPA this would result in savings that could be better applied to maintaining the distribution system and avoiding thousands of outages during heat storms. It might also be a factor in reducing millions of dollars for maintaining excessive amounts of electric capacity.