Bill Text: NY S04535 | 2021-2022 | General Assembly | Introduced


Bill Title: Enacts the "Long Island power authority rate reform act"; requires that the board of trustees of LIPA not approve a final rate plan until it holds a public hearing in each county within the service area upon at least thirty days notice to the public; requires that the department of public service shall not recommend a rate increase to offset revenue loss due to energy conservation efforts by consumers.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2022-01-05 - REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS [S04535 Detail]

Download: New_York-2021-S04535-Introduced.html



                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________

                                          4535

                               2021-2022 Regular Sessions

                    IN SENATE

                                    February 5, 2021
                                       ___________

        Introduced  by Sen. GAUGHRAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
          printed to be committed to the Committee on  Energy  and  Telecommuni-
          cations

        AN  ACT  to amend the public authorities law and the public service law,
          in relation to enacting the "Long Island power authority  rate  reform
          act"

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

     1    Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may  be  cited  as
     2  the "Long Island power authority rate reform act".
     3    §  2. Subdivision (u) of section 1020-f of the public authorities law,
     4  as added by section 7 of part A of chapter 173 of the laws of 2013,  and
     5  paragraph 2-a as added by chapter 471 of the laws of 2014, is amended to
     6  read as follows:
     7    (u)  Rate  plans.  Subject  to subdivision six of section one thousand
     8  twenty-k of this title to fix rates and charges for  the  furnishing  or
     9  rendition  of  gas  or  electric  power or of any related service at the
    10  lowest level consistent with sound fiscal and operating practices of the
    11  authority and which provide for safe and adequate service. In implement-
    12  ing this power:
    13    1. The authority and the service provider shall, on or before February
    14  first, two thousand fifteen, submit for  review  to  the  department  of
    15  public  service a three-year rate proposal for rates and charges to take
    16  effect on or after January first, two thousand sixteen.
    17    2. The authority and the service provider shall thereafter submit  for
    18  review  to the department of public service any rate proposal that would
    19  increase the rates and charges and thus increase the aggregate  revenues
    20  of the authority by more than two and one-half percent to be measured on
    21  an  annual  basis[; provided, however, that the authority may place such
    22  rates and charges into effect on an interim basis, subject  to  prospec-
    23  tive  rate  adjustment; provided, further, that a final rate plan issued

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD05786-01-1

        S. 4535                             2

     1  by the authority that would not so increase such rates and charges shall
     2  not be subject to the requirements of paragraph four of this subdivision
     3  and shall be considered final for the purposes of review  under  article
     4  seventy-eight  of  the  civil  practice  law and rules].   The authority
     5  and/or the service provider may otherwise  submit  for  review  to  such
     6  department any rate proposal irrespective of its effect on revenues.
     7    2-a.  The authority and the service provider shall not submit any rate
     8  proposal that shall assess any fee, penalty or other charge of any  kind
     9  for  the  voluntary  termination  of electric service to any residential
    10  customer for the purpose of utilizing alternative  sources  of  electric
    11  generation  in  excess  of that charged to customers who terminate their
    12  electric service for any other reason.
    13    3. The authority shall not fix any final rates  and  charges  proposed
    14  that  would not be subject to review by the department of public service
    15  pursuant to paragraphs one and two of this subdivision until after hold-
    16  ing public hearings thereon upon reasonable public notice, with at least
    17  one such hearing to be held in each [in the] county [of Suffolk and  the
    18  county  of  Nassau]  within  the  service area upon at least thirty days
    19  notice to the public.
    20    4. Any recommendations  associated  with  a  rate  proposal  submitted
    21  pursuant to paragraphs one and two of this subdivision shall be provided
    22  by  the department of public service to the board of the authority imme-
    23  diately upon their finalization by the department.  [Unless the board of
    24  the authority makes a preliminary determination in its  discretion  that
    25  any particular recommendation is inconsistent with the authority's sound
    26  fiscal  operating practices, any existing contractual or operating obli-
    27  gations, or the provision of safe and adequate service, the board  shall
    28  implement  such  recommendations as part of its final rate plan and such
    29  final determination shall be deemed to satisfy the requirements of  this
    30  subdivision  and  be  considered  final for the purposes of review under
    31  article seventy-eight of the civil practice law  and  rules.  The  board
    32  shall  make  any  such preliminary determination of inconsistency within
    33  thirty days of receipt of such  recommendations,  with  notice  and  the
    34  basis  of  such determination being provided to the department of public
    35  service, and contemporaneously posted on the websites of  the  authority
    36  and its service provider. The board shall thereafter, within thirty days
    37  of such posting and with due advance notice to the public, hold a public
    38  hearing  with respect to its preliminary determination of inconsistency.
    39  At such hearing, the department of  public  service  shall  present  the
    40  basis for its recommendations, the board shall present the basis for its
    41  determination  of inconsistency and the service provider may present its
    42  position. The authority and the service provider may,  during  the  time
    43  period before such public hearing reach agreement with the department on
    44  disputed issues. Within thirty days after such public hearing, the board
    45  of  the  authority  shall  announce  its final determination and planned
    46  implementation with respect to any such recommendations. The authority's
    47  final determination of inconsistency shall be subject to any  applicable
    48  judicial  review  proceeding,  including  review available under article
    49  seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules] The board  shall  not
    50  approve a final rate plan until it holds a public hearing in each county
    51  within  the service area upon at least thirty days notice to the public.
    52  At such hearing, the department of  public  service  shall  present  the
    53  basis  for  its recommendations. Within ninety days of the conclusion of
    54  the public hearing, the board shall render a final determination on  the
    55  rate  proposal. In making a final determination, the board shall protect
    56  the economic interests of its ratepayers and the service area. The board

        S. 4535                             3

     1  shall also consider the recommendations of the department and the crite-
     2  ria in paragraph (a) of subdivision three  of  section  three-b  of  the
     3  public  service  law.  The  board shall not be authorized to approve any
     4  rate  increase to offset revenue loss due to energy conservation efforts
     5  by consumers. Such final determination shall be considered final for the
     6  purposes of review under article seventy-eight of the civil practice law
     7  and rules.
     8    § 3. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 3  of  section  3-b  of  the  public
     9  service  law,  as amended by chapter 479 of the laws of 2017, is amended
    10  to read as follows:
    11    (a) Review and make recommendations to the board of  the  Long  Island
    12  power authority with respect to the rates and charges, including charges
    13  related to energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, to be estab-
    14  lished by the authority and become applicable on or after January first,
    15  two thousand sixteen pursuant to subdivision (u) of section one thousand
    16  twenty-f of the public authorities law.
    17    (i)  The purpose of such review is to make recommendations designed to
    18  ensure that the authority and the  service  provider  provide  safe  and
    19  adequate  transmission  and  distribution  service  at  rates set at the
    20  lowest level consistent with sound fiscal operating practices.
    21    (ii) The department's recommendations shall be designed to be consist-
    22  ent with ensuring that the revenue requirements  related  to  such  rate
    23  review  are  sufficient  to  satisfy  the  authority's  obligations with
    24  respect to its bonds, notes and all other contracts.
    25    (iii) In the context of such review, the department may make recommen-
    26  dations with regard to the compensation or fee structure included within
    27  the operations services agreement.
    28    (iv) In undertaking such review and in making recommendations  related
    29  to the proposed rates and charges, the department shall establish stand-
    30  ards,  policies  and  procedures  that, at a minimum, provide for public
    31  statement and evidentiary hearings and participation of intervenors  and
    32  other  parties, and ensure that any final recommendations related to the
    33  proposed rates and charges are provided  to  the  authority  within  two
    34  hundred forty days of the filing with the department of such plan.
    35    (v)  The parties to any such rate review proceeding shall include, but
    36  not be limited to, department staff, the authority, the service provider
    37  and[, to the extent it deems  necessary  or  appropriate,]  the  utility
    38  intervention unit.
    39    (vi)  The  department  shall  not  recommend a rate increase to offset
    40  revenue loss due to energy conservation efforts by consumers.
    41    § 4. Severability.  If any provision of this act  or  the  application
    42  thereof  shall  for  any  reason  be  adjudged by any court of competent
    43  jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not  affect,  impair  or
    44  invalidate the remainder of this act, but shall be confined in its oper-
    45  ation  to  the provision thereof directly involved in the controversy in
    46  which the judgment shall have been rendered.
    47    § 5. This act shall take effect immediately.
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