After getting a verbal shellacking from Gov. Andrew Cuomo yesterday over how they "failed" the state post-Hurricane Sandy, Con Ed CEO Kevin Burke apologized to the thousands of customers who are still without power 11 days after the storm. "I am very sorry there are so many people suffering because their lights are out," Burke said during a news conference in White Plains. "It is taking a long time." But that isn't going to stop them from seeking to raise rates.

So far, there are still approximately 45K customers without power because of the storm: 13.7K in Queens, 6.1K in Brooklyn, 3K in Staten Island, 2.7K in the Bronx, 200 in Manhattan, and 19.5K in Westchester. Nevertheless, Con Ed is still planning to petition to the Public Service Commission to raise rates, CBS reports.

"We've been investing in our system and part of the reason in general, excluding such a major storm as this, is the system is very reliable. We're going to continue to make those investments and we're going to continue to, as appropriate, apply for increases,” Burke said.

Cuomo might strongly disagree with that assessment of their company, especially when they "ran out of poles." In a letter he sent to utility CEOs last week, Cuomo said he would fight them for the "failure to keep your part of the bargain" and "direct the Public Service Commission to commence a proceeding to revoke your Certificates."

Burke said that Sandy overwhelmed Con Ed because it was impossible to predict the full scope of damage to the state until it occurred. Even bringing in 3,000 outside contractors (and hiring Safety Site Inspectors) wasn't quite enough to bring everybody up to full power. "Fairly quickly, the computer systems will give you an estimate of how many customers are out of service," Burke said. "But until you get people out there to do damage assessment...we didn't know the answers."

The nor'easter that hit the city this week wasn't the most powerful, but it did bring down more trees and power lines, giving Con Ed even more to do. Speaking of which: have you ever seen what it looks like when a power line catches fire?