j peter lark http://michiganradio.org en Lansing voters to decide if mayor should run BWL during emergencies http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-voters-decide-if-mayor-should-run-bwl-during-emergencies <p>Lansing’s mayor may have real ‘power’ at his fingertips at times of emergency, if city voters agree in November.</p><p></p><p>Tens of thousands of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers spent days in the dark last December after a major ice storm.&nbsp;&nbsp; The utility’s leadership was heavily criticized for a disorganized response to the black out.&nbsp;</p><p>BWL’s response to the storm and its aftermath were the subject of reviews by a panel appointed by Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero, the state Public Service Commission and by the utility itself.</p> Tue, 05 Aug 2014 10:14:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 18614 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing voters to decide if mayor should run BWL during emergencies BWL launches program to head off problems from future storm-related power outages http://michiganradio.org/post/bwl-launches-program-head-problems-future-storm-related-power-outages <p>Lansing residents will get some additional help next time a massive ice storm knocks out their electricity.</p><p></p><p>Last December, about 40,000 Lansing Board of Water and Light customers lost their power during a pre-Christmas ice storm. Thousands spent the holiday in the dark as utility crews tried to restore power. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>The heavy ice yanked the wiring out of about 1,000 homes and businesses. Homeowners had to track down electricians during the holidays to reconnect homes to electric meters before power could be restored. Many had to wait 11 to 12 days.</p><p></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 21:11:18 +0000 Steve Carmody 17867 at http://michiganradio.org BWL launches program to head off problems from future storm-related power outages Utility regulators say the Lansing Board of Water & Light was not prepared for December ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/utility-regulators-say-lansing-board-water-light-was-not-prepared-december-ice-storm <p>State utility regulators are the latest to give Lansing’s city electric utility poor marks for how it handled a massive ice storm in December.</p><p><a href="http://www.michigan.gov/documents/mpsc/bwlreport_457837_7.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Public Service Commission says</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> the Lansing Board of Water &amp; Light was not prepared for the Dec. 21 ice storm that knocked out power to about 40,000 </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> customers. Many customers had to wait 10 days or more to get their electricity restored.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The </span>MPSC<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> report echoes the findings of </span><a href="http://www.lbwl.com/outagereport/" style="line-height: 1.5;">BWL’s own internal review </a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">and </span><a href="http://media.mlive.com/lansing-news/other/CRT%20Report_May%205_FINAL%20PDF.pdf" style="line-height: 1.5;">a panel appointed by Lansing’s mayor</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">. Among other things, the </span>MPSC<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> says </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> needs to improve its tree trimming and communications programs. The public service commission does not regulate </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;">, so its findings are little more than recommendations for change.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lansing Mayor </span>Virg<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> </span>Bernero<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> asked for the state review. He says the three reports will provide a “road map” for </span>BWL<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> to be a more reliable energy provider.</span></p><p>BWL’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> general manager issued a statement saying the utility has “already begun implementing many of the improvements recommended by the MPSC.”</span></p><p> Fri, 30 May 2014 19:59:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17809 at http://michiganradio.org Utility regulators say the Lansing Board of Water & Light was not prepared for December ice storm BWL plans to hire a "czar" to guide planning for future emergencies http://michiganradio.org/post/bwl-plans-hire-czar-guide-planning-future-emergencies <p>The Lansing Board of Water and Light plans to hire someone to handle planning for future emergencies.</p><p></p><p>One of the biggest criticisms BWL received after last December’s major power outage was that the utility wasn't communicating well with those most affected.</p><p></p><p>About 40,000 people lost power during the Dec. 21 ice storm. Many had to wait 10 days or more to get their lights turned back on.</p><p></p><p>A recent report claims the utility also failed to keep in touch with local governments, which were also struggling to recover from a major pre-Christmas ice storm.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 23:32:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 17519 at http://michiganradio.org BWL plans to hire a "czar" to guide planning for future emergencies Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/faulty-communication-system-partly-blamed-confusion-after-december-ice-storm <p><a href="http://www.lbwl.com/outagereport/">An internal report</a> finds a key communication system that failed during December’s ice storm had been malfunctioning for months before the storm.</p><p></p><p>The Lansing Board of Water and Light released the findings of an internal review of its response to the storm last night. &nbsp;More than 35,000&nbsp;BWL customers lost power, some for as long as 10 days.</p><p></p> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 03:39:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 16504 at http://michiganradio.org Faulty communication system partly blamed for confusion after December ice storm Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm http://michiganradio.org/post/lansing-bwl-officials-discuss-what-went-wrong-after-decembers-ice-storm <p>In the midst of the current weather crisis, Lansing utility officials plan to spend time tonight trying to figure out what went wrong during the last weather crisis in the capitol city.</p><p></p><p>Two weeks ago, an ice storm knocked out power to 40% of Lansing Board of Water and Light customers.</p><p></p><p>Many customers grew very angry as they waited for more than a week to get their electricity turned back on. That anger only grew worse when it was learned that the man in charge of the city’s utility left town during the outage to spend time with his family in New York.</p><p></p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Steve Carmody 15910 at http://michiganradio.org Lansing BWL officials to discuss what went wrong after December's ice storm