Bill Text: NY A06887 | 2023-2024 | General Assembly | Introduced

Bill Title: Requires the New York state energy research and development authority to establish a do-not-solicit solar development statewide registry prohibiting solar solicitors from contacting persons who are included on such registry; establishes requirements for solar solicitors who make solar marketing sales calls, electronic messaging, and on-premises sales appeals to customers in New York state; establishes penalties for violations.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2024-01-03 - referred to energy [A06887 Detail]

Download: New_York-2023-A06887-Introduced.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2023-2024 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                       May 8, 2023

        Introduced  by M. of A. LUPARDO -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Energy

        AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to  establishing
          a  do-not-solicit  solar  development  statewide  registry prohibiting
          solar solicitors from contacting persons  who  are  included  on  such

          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section 1. The public authorities law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
     2  section 1885 to read as follows:
     3    §  1885.  Solar  solicitation;  establishment  of do-not-solicit solar
     4  development statewide registry. 1. As used in this section, the  follow-
     5  ing terms shall have the following meanings:
     6    (a)  "President"  means  the  president  of  the New York state energy
     7  research and development authority.
     8    (b) "Solar developer" means a business that finances, installs,  owns,
     9  operates  and/or  maintains  solar panels for the purposes of generating
    10  electricity.
    11    (c) "Solar solicitor" means any person who, for  financial  profit  or
    12  commercial  purposes  in  connection with solar development, makes solar
    13  marketing  sales  calls,  electronic  messaging,  or  on-premises  sales
    14  appeals  to  a customer when the customer is in this state or any person
    15  who directly controls or supervises the conduct of a solar solicitor.
    16    (d) "Commercial purposes" means the sale or offer for sale or lease of
    17  property for the purposes of constructing major solar energy  generation
    18  projects.
    19    (e)  "Customer"  means  any  natural  person who is a resident of this
    20  state and who is or may be offered payment for portions of land for  the
    21  purposes of the installation of solar panels for electricity generation.

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 6887                             2

     1    (f) "Doing business in this state" means conducting solar solicitation
     2  calls:  (i)  from  a  location  in  this  state; or (ii) from a location
     3  outside of this state to consumers residing in this state.
     4    (g)  "Unsolicited solar development call" means any solar solicitation
     5  call, electronic messaging, or on-premises appeal  other  than  a  call,
     6  electronic message or on-premises appeal:
     7    (i) in response to an express written or verbal request by the custom-
     8  er; or
     9    (ii)  in  connection  with an established business relationship, which
    10  has not been terminated by either party, unless such customer has stated
    11  to the solar solicitor that such customer no longer  wishes  to  receive
    12  the solar solicitation calls of such solar solicitor.
    13    (h)  "Caller identification information" means information provided by
    14  a caller identification service regarding the telephone number and  name
    15  of the person calling.
    16    (i)  "Caller  identification  service"  means  a service that allows a
    17  telephone subscriber to have the telephone number, and, where available,
    18  name of the calling party transmitted contemporaneously with  the  tele-
    19  phone  call,  and displayed on a device in or connected to the subscrib-
    20  er's telephone.
    21    (j) "Electronic messaging" means: real-time  or  near  real-time  non-
    22  voice  messages  in text form over communications networks, and includes
    23  the transmission of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all
    24  kinds by aid of wire, cable or other like connection between the  points
    25  of  origin  and reception of such transmission; or an electronic message
    26  or an executable program or computer file that contains an  image  of  a
    27  message  that is transmitted between two or more computers or electronic
    28  terminals. Such term shall include electronic messages that  are  trans-
    29  mitted within or between computer networks.
    30    (k)  "On-premises  sales appeals" means in-person communication taking
    31  place at or in the vicinity of the  customer's  residence  or  the  land
    32  which the solar solicitor is offering to purchase or lease.
    33    2.  No  solar solicitor shall engage in solar solicitation at any time
    34  other than between 8:00 A.M. and  7:00  P.M.  at  the  location  of  the
    35  customer unless the customer has given their express consent to the call
    36  at  a  different  time.  Solar  solicitors shall provide, in a clear and
    37  coherent manner using words with common and everyday  meanings,  at  the
    38  beginning  of each solar solicitation call all of the following informa-
    39  tion, provided that the information set forth in paragraphs (a) and  (b)
    40  of this subdivision shall be given to the customer first:
    41    (a)  the  solar  solicitor's  name  and the person on whose behalf the
    42  solicitation is being made, if other than the solar solicitor;
    43    (b) the option to  be  automatically  added  to  the  seller's  entity
    44  specific  do-not-solicit  list, as required by subdivision three of this
    45  section;
    46    (c) whether the call is being recorded; and
    47    (d) the purpose of the telephone call.
    48    2-a. It shall be unlawful for any solar solicitor to  knowingly  cause
    49  any caller identification service to transmit misleading, inaccurate, or
    50  false caller identification information, provided that it shall not be a
    51  violation  of  this section to substitute (for the name and phone number
    52  used in, or billed for, making the call) the name or telephone number of
    53  the person or seller on behalf of which a  solar  solicitation  call  is
    54  placed.
    55    3.  The  authority  is authorized to establish, manage, and maintain a
    56  do-not-solicit solar development statewide registry which shall  contain

        A. 6887                             3

     1  a  list of customers who do not wish to receive unsolicited solar solic-
     2  itation calls. The authority may  contract  with  a  private  vendor  to
     3  establish,  manage and maintain such a registry, and such contract shall
     4  require  the  vendor to provide the no solar solicitation calls registry
     5  in a printed hard copy format and in any other format as  prescribed  by
     6  the authority.
     7    4.  No  solar  solicitor  may make or cause to be made any unsolicited
     8  solar development call to any customer when  such  customer's  telephone
     9  number, email address, address of the customer's residence or address of
    10  the  land which the solar solicitor is offering to purchase or lease has
    11  been on the statewide do-not-solicit registry established by the author-
    12  ity for a period of thirty-one days prior to the date the call is made.
    13    4-a. It shall be unlawful for any solar solicitor  doing  business  in
    14  this  state  to  knowingly make an unsolicited solar development call to
    15  any person in a county, city, town or village  under  a  declared  local
    16  state  of  emergency,  pursuant  to section twenty-four of the executive
    17  law, or state declared disaster emergency, pursuant to  section  twenty-
    18  eight of the executive law.
    19    5.  No  solar  solicitor shall initiate any solar solicitation call by
    20  means of a technology that delivers a pre-recorded message,  unless  the
    21  solar  solicitor has obtained from the customer an express agreement, in
    22  writing that:
    23    (a) the solar solicitor obtained only after a  clear  and  conspicuous
    24  disclosure  that the purpose of the agreement is to authorize the devel-
    25  oper to make solar solicitation calls to such customer;
    26    (b) the solar solicitor obtained without requiring, directly or  indi-
    27  rectly,  that  the  agreement  be  executed as a condition of selling or
    28  leasing portions of land for the purposes of the installation  of  solar
    29  panels for electricity generation;
    30    (c)  evidences the willingness of the customer to receive solar solic-
    31  itation calls by or made on behalf of a specific seller; and
    32    (d) includes such customer's telephone number and signature.
    33    6. In the case of any  solar  solicitation  call  made  by  a  natural
    34  person,  the  solar  solicitor  shall  inform the customer that they may
    35  request that their telephone  number,  email  address,  address  of  the
    36  customer's residence or address of the land which the solar solicitor is
    37  offering  to  purchase or lease be added to the seller's entity specific
    38  do-not-solicit registry. If the customer opts to do so, the solar  soli-
    39  citor  shall immediately end the call and shall add the number called to
    40  such list or cause the number called to be added to such list.
    41    7. No solar solicitor or developer shall transmit, share, or otherwise
    42  make available any customer's contact information, including name, tele-
    43  phone number, or email address, which has been provided  to  such  solar
    44  solicitor  or developer by such customer, to any person, corporation, or
    45  other entity without the express agreement of the consumer in writing or
    46  in electronic format, unless otherwise required by law, or pursuant to a
    47  lawful subpoena or court order.
    48    8. Solar solicitors or developers shall keep records relating  to  its
    49  solicitation  activities  for a period of sixty months from the date the
    50  record is created.
    51    9. (a) The authority shall provide notice to customers of  the  estab-
    52  lishment  of  the  statewide  do-not-solicit  registry. Any customer who
    53  wishes to be included on such registry shall notify the authority in the
    54  manner provided for by the authority.
    55    (b) Any company that provides local telephone directories to customers
    56  in this state shall inform its  customers  of  the  provisions  of  this

        A. 6887                             4

     1  section by means of publishing a notice in such local telephone directo-
     2  ries.
     3    10.  When  the  authority  has  reason to believe a solar solicitor or
     4  developer has engaged in repeated unlawful acts  in  violation  of  this
     5  section,  or when a notice of hearing has been issued pursuant to subdi-
     6  vision eleven of this section, the authority may request in writing  the
     7  production  of  relevant  documents  and records as part of its investi-
     8  gation. If the person upon whom such request was made fails  to  produce
     9  the  documents  or  records  within  thirty  days  after the date of the
    10  request, the authority may issue  and  serve  subpoenas  to  compel  the
    11  production  of such documents and records. If any person shall refuse to
    12  comply with a subpoena issued under  this  section,  the  authority  may
    13  petition  a  court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the subpoena and
    14  such sanctions as the court may direct.
    15    11. (a) Where it is determined  after  hearing  that  any  person  has
    16  violated  one  or more provisions of this section, the president, or his
    17  or her designee, may assess a fine of eleven thousand dollars  for  each
    18  violation.
    19    (b)  Where  it  is  determined after hearing that any person has, on a
    20  second, separate occasion  violated  one  or  more  provisions  of  this
    21  section,  the president, or their designee, may assess a fine of twenty-
    22  two thousand dollars for each violation.
    23    (c) Where it is determined after hearing that any  person  has,  on  a
    24  third,  separate  occasion  violated  one  or  more  provisions  of this
    25  section, the authority in conjunction  with  the  office  for  renewable
    26  energy siting, shall revoke any development permits for the solar devel-
    27  oper  and place their name on a public registry, created by the authori-
    28  ty, of companies that have repeatedly violated the  provisions  of  this
    29  section.
    30    (d)  Any proceeding conducted pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subdi-
    31  vision shall be subject to the state administrative procedure act.
    32    (e) Nothing in this subdivision shall be  construed  to  restrict  any
    33  right which any person may have under any other law, rule or regulation.
    34    12.  The  authority  shall  promulgate  rules  and regulations for the
    35  administration of this section.
    36    13. Severability. If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part  of  this
    37  section  shall  be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be
    38  invalid, such judgment  shall  not  affect,  impair  or  invalidate  the
    39  remainder thereof, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause,
    40  sentence, paragraph or part thereof directly involved in the controversy
    41  in which such judgment shall have been rendered.
    42    §  2.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
    43  have become a law.