What should be done

Scanning – the key to reducing shocks

  • In New York City, twelve mobile scans and one manual scan are done each year. This has materially improved public safety and must continue.
  • In upstate New York, the Public Service Commission requires one manual scan and one mobile scan in incorporated cities with a population of at least 50,000. The PSC should require scans in all population areas (not just incorporated cities) greater than 30,000. Four mobile scans should be performed per year starting in 2010. If the number of detected energized objects increases year-over-year, the number of scans should be doubled, up to twelve.
  • Currently, both Con Edison and the upstate utilities define an object as energized if one or more volts are detected. This one volt standard should continue to be the universal standard.

Transparency - leads to understanding and positive change

  • All of the New York State scan data should be made available to the public.
  • Through an agreement reached after Jodie’s death, Con Edison has provided this scan data to the Lane Family and in turn the Jodie S. Lane Public Safety Foundation. The progress that has already been made (for example, that Con Edison will perform twelve mobile scans in 2009) is in large part a product of the Foundation’s fact-based analysis and advocacy derived from this data. Although Con Edison is only obligated to provide this data through 2009, Con Edison should continue to provide the stray voltage database indefinitely to the Jodie S. Lane public Safety Foundation.
  • Require all upstate utilities to provide a complete a database of stray voltage detections to the Jodie S. Lane Public Safety Foundation.
  • The PSC should publish a summary by utility of all energized objects and shocks, including a 5 year trend.


  • When 1 or more volts are detected on an object, there must be a requirement to mitigate the problem (repair the infrastructure failure) or prove the location safe. Con Edison meets this requirement; in 2009 upstate utilities adopted the 1 volt mitigation requirement.
  • Con Edison must speed up their projects to reduce their system’s failure rate: 30 years to replace cable and 10 years to install isolation transformers is too long…at this rate, a third of NYC’s population will die of old age before material improvement is made to the Con Edison system.


  • Con Edison is the most knowledgeable utility in the US regarding stray voltage in urban environments. Con Edison must lead other utilities to implement the actions that have made Con Edison successful at reducing shocks by 67%.
  • The PSC knows more about urban stray voltage than any other regulatory agency. The PSC must use this wealth of knowledge to lead NY State utilities to materially reduce shocks.
  • The PSC must change their orders to ensure that a utility that ignores or disobeys a PSC order has real monetary consequences.