WOODBURY - PSEG Long Island customers are voicing their disapproval of the fact that the utility does not have to disclose how much its top executives make, even as the power company is seeking a rate hike.
PSEG says that under its agreement with LIPA, it does not have to disclose its top salaries. A PSEG lawyer told Newsday that the salaries and how they are funded "can't be questioned."
As News 12 has reported, Gov. Andrew Cuomo spearheaded the move to have New Jersey-based PSEG replace LIPA as Long Island's electric provider. A handful of Long Island assemblymen voted against the takeover, saying it gave PSEG too much power.
MORE: PSEG/LIPA Coverage
"Con Edison is a private company, but when they go to the Public Service Commission for a rate increase, executive compensation has to be disclosed," pointed out Assemblyman Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor). "I think it's another indicator that the LIPA reform act really lacks transparency and legislative oversight."
A PSEG spokesman says executive salaries are paid for by what it terms a "yearly management fee," which goes up or down based on the company's performance. PSEG says the fee has nothing to do with its planned 4 percent rate hikes.
But many ratepayers who spoke with News 12 Long Island aren't convinced. "I think it's absolutely something they should disclose," said Plainview resident Michele Fischetti. "We want to know what we're paying for."
Gov. Cuomo's office did not return several requests for comment from News 12 on the matter.