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 BINGHAMTON, N.Y., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- New York State Electric & Gas Corporation (NYSEG) (NYSE: NGE) will reorganize the way it delivers services to its electric and natural gas customers, beginning March 15, 1994.
 NYSEG will enhance service, while reducing costs, by taking advantage of efficiencies associated with a new regionalized organization, improved technology and extended customer service hours at its Call Center. This reorganization will:
 -- Consolidate customer walk-in services to 13
 principal offices.
 -- Consolidate electric and natural gas crews in
 -- Maintain more than 300 convenient pay agent
 locations where customers may pay their
 These consolidations will result in the elimination of customer walk- in services at 28 satellite locations and the closing of up to 10 electric and natural gas operations facilities statewide. Currently less than 5 percent of NYSEG's customers visit its offices, and 90 percent of those that do simply pay bills.
 "This reorganization is another important step in our effort to deliver high-quality customer service at the lowest possible cost," said James A. Carrigg, NYSEG chairman, president and chief executive officer. NYSEG has already announced a 5 percent cut in operations and maintenance expenses in each of 1994 and 1995, as well as an approximate $100 million reduction in capital spending. It also plans to place two electric generating units on long-term, cold stand-by.
 "Several factors prompted these decisions. High among them is the weak economy in our state and service area which is affecting us at a time when our prices are expected to increase, primarily due to mandated expenses for taxes and for purchasing unneeded electricity from unregulated non-utility generators. Together these two items account for roughly 35 percent of the price of our electricity. We are also facing increasing competition from self-generation and other options available to large energy users," Carrigg continued.
 "When this reorganization is complete, we will have reduced our work force by approximately 800 (including 200 through attrition) or about 16 percent. We will have cut our corporate staff, and we will have eliminated or significantly redesigned local salaried supervisory positions, including those of division manager, local manager, electric manager and gas manager," he said.
 Under the new regional reorganization, 13 principal offices will provide service to walk-in customers. These offices will be located in existing NYSEG facilities in Auburn, Binghamton, Brewster, Elmira, Geneva, Hornell, Ithaca, Lancaster, Liberty, Lockport, Mechanicville, Oneonta and Plattsburgh. NYSEG will also maintain more than 40 facilities that house electric and natural gas crews to ensure that customers will continue to receive reliable service.
 After the satellite office closings, customers can continue to pay their bills at NYSEG's principal offices, at more than 300 approved pay agents across the state, or by mail. Customers can have other service needs met by NYSEG's Call Center in Binghamton. The Call Center is now open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and will be open on Saturdays in the spring of 1994. The Call Center's toll-free number is 1-800-572-1111.
 The new regional organization will:
 -- reduce layers of management.
 -- streamline the responsibilities of the 13
 principal offices so that employees can
 increase their focus on providing electric
 and natural gas service.
 -- establish a regional approach to support
 services and to projects such as rebuilding
 electric transmission lines and electric and
 natural gas distribution systems.
 -- reduce and centralize several functions
 including human resources, health and safety,
 educational services to schools, and home
 energy surveys.
 -0- 1/12/94
 /CONTACT: Clayton Ellis, media specialist, of New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, 607-762-4301/

CO: New York State Electric & Gas Corporation ST: New York IN: UTI SU:

BM -- CL016 -- 1448 01/12/94 14:29 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 12, 1994

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