Given that Hurricane Sandy was of epic proportions, some are giving the utilities props...albeit qualifyingly.

I wonder if you’d agree with this report that just came out today.

Public Service Electric & Gas has been named America’s most reliable electric utility for 2011.

New Jersey’s largest electric and gas utility also garnered an award for its response to the two major storms in 2011.

(My aside: Says nothing about Sandy!)

The honors were announced by PA Consulting, the industry benchmarking group that awarded PSE&G its top honor, the 2011 National Reliability Excellence Award, for “demonstrating sustained leadership, innovation and achievement in the area of electric reliability.”

PSE&G has won the award five times in the past eight years.

It is also the 11th consecutive year it has won the ReliabilityOne Award for the Mid-Atlantic region. PSE&G also won Outstanding Response to a Major Outage Event for its performance during Hurricane Irene and the October snowstorm.

“The people of PSE&G work hard every day to provide safe, highly reliable electric service to our customers,” PSE&G President and COO Ralph LaRossa said in a statement.

Here’s the deal.

A good many PSE&G customers who called the radio station during the aftermath of Sandy said the information they were being fed by company reps wasn’t accurate. They’d site instances where the estimated time to take care of a blacked out area was always more optimistic than real.

And even JCP&L was given praise…by the mayor of Parsippany for one, who according to this:

Parsippany Mayor James Barberio offered up praise for the power company at a council meeting Tuesday night, but he tempered it, Parsippany Patch reports.

Residents of the Puddingstone neighborhood had been trapped in their homes due to downed trees and wires for several days after superstorm Sandy, according to the report. And several people, including council members, said that was unacceptable.

"I'm not sticking up for JCP&L, but after the fifth day, we called JCP&L and they came within two hours," Patch quotes Barberio saying.

It's far from an all-out endorsement of JCP&L, but it's far gentler than some of his peers in Morris County have been.

And for the most part, that assessment has not been too kind.

I’d say the response by JCP&L probably had more to do with the vigilance of public officials staying on the backs of company officials than by the company’s own initiative.

For instance, Mayor Susan Cohen of Manalapan maintained an open line with JCP&L’s site manager to give him frequent updates on the number of homes still without power in any given area.

And while it was uncomfortable sitting in the dark and cold for 7 days…the fact that our mayor maintained an open line of communication with the company offered some measure of relief.

For me, at least!

In our case, it was the Mayor and the other township officials who stayed on the backs of the company.

I shudder to think what the company’s response would have been had that not been the case!

So given the fact that we're a month down the road from the worst storm to ever hit New do you rate the performance of your individual utility?