Issues: Utilities

First a Desal Plant, Now a Rate Hike?

Last year, United Water asked for help funding a desalination plant without illustrating a need for the facility. Now the utility company is asking ratepayers for a rate hike while ignoring their own financial and managerial issues.

Rockland residents are already slammed with some of the highest property taxes in the nation while unemployment remains a serious concern throughout the region. Many families have tightened their belts to get through these tough economic times. 

Asking ratepayers to pay an additional 24.5% while United Water continues to NOT take steps towards tightening their own belt is unacceptable. 

April 22, 2014
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Griffo Calls on PSC to Investigate Heating Bills

UTICA – Senator Joseph A. Griffo has written a letter asking the Public Service Commission to uncover the true reason behind skyrocketing heat and electric bills.

“I’ve heard from several people about how bills doubled and tripled this winter – and it can’t be all explained by just using more of the utilities,” said Griffo. “We need to find out which entities are gouging customers and how they can be stopped.”

Some of the reasons for a cost increase are known, the senator said.

April 3, 2014
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SENATOR VALESKY HAILS PASSAGE OF FOURTH CONSECUTIVE ON-TIME STATE BUDGET

ALBANY, NY—State Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today lauded the passage of the state’s fourth and historic consecutive on-time budget. This has not been accomplished with the same Governor and legislative leaders in more than 40 years.

April 1, 2014
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With Electricity Bills Soaring, Senator Kennedy Pushes for Independent Watchdog to Protect Western New York Utility Consumers

Residential utility customers in New York pay some of the highest electricity rates in the nation – over 50 percent higher than the national average.

Kennedy pushes legislation that will ensure homeowners and small businesses have a strong voice and forceful advocate fighting for them during rate-setting proceedings.

Kennedy: As electricity bills surge ever higher, New York needs a Utility Consumer Advocate fighting hard every day to protect the interests of working families, senior citizens and small businesses.

March 8, 2014
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Senator Griffo Comments on PSC Freezing National Grid Rates to Help Customers

The Public Service Commission today announced it authorized National Grid to take immediate action to provide its customers with a $32 million temporary credit to offset an unprecedented increase in electric supply costs. The surges, expected in February, would result in bill spikes for upstate residential and small business customers. Read full release here. (This link opens a PDF file.)

Senator Joseph A. Griffo, R-Rome, issued the following statement in response:

January 29, 2014
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FELDER: OVER $11,000 IN HOME HEATING ASSISTANCE GRANTS HAVE BEEN DISTRIBUTED IN 17TH SENATE DISTRICT

Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is pleased to announce that over $11,000 in HeartShare grants have been allocated to date in the 17th Senate District through the Senator’s office to help low-income families and individuals with their high heating bills. HeartShare Human Services of New York administers the Neighborhood Heating Fund founded by National Grid. During a typical heating season, National Grid and HeartShare assist more than 1,200 families.

“It has been such a privilege to partner with National Grid and HeartShare to bring real financial relief to those who are struggling to pay their heating bills,” said Senator Felder. “People are just overjoyed when we notify them that they have been approved for financial assistance.”

 

January 29, 2014
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Legislative Report - property and energy tax relief, unfunded mandates, closing the skills gap and ethics reform

Senator Ted O'Brien sat down to discuss some top priorities he will be working on this session.  These include implementing additional tax relief, working to pass his Unfunded Mandate Reform Act, striving to improve availability of job and skills training programs that help match unemployed people up with positions that are open now and fighting to tighten restrictions on how campaigns are financed and more effectively deal with those who flout the rules.

January 27, 2014
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SENATOR MARTINS' LEGISLATION TO IMPROVE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION'S OVERSIGHT SIGNED INTO LAW

Residents will have the ability to file complaints about utility companies online

When Superstorm Sandy hit the Long Island region in October 2012, many residents and businesses were without power for weeks, some for over a month. The lack of information provided by LIPA concerning when power would be restored frustrated an extremely difficult situation as many felt they had nowhere to turn.

December 20, 2013
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Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein Launches IDC’s 2014 Agenda – “Affordable NY”

Senate Co-Leader Jeff Klein Launches IDC’s 2014 Agenda – “Affordable NY”

IDC Introduces Innovative Programs Like Family Leave Insurance for Working Mothers and Fathers and Launches Mitchell Llama 2020; Agenda Re-Focuses State Resources on Working Families

#AffordableNY

 

December 13, 2013
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Griffo announces $8.5 million for Rome

Empire State Development grant will extend water, sewer to residents, businesses

ROME – Sen. Joseph A. Griffo today announced that the state is providing $8.5 million to the City of Rome for a major water-sewer improvement project.

The funds, which come from Empire State Development’s Economic Transformation Program, are for a two-phase project in the north, west and south corridors of Rome.

November 20, 2013
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STATEMENT FROM SENATOR BILL LARKIN REGARDING DISPUTE BETWEEN CBS AND TIME WARNER CABLE

Senator Bill Larkin (R-C-I, Cornwall-on-Hudson) today issued the following statement regarding the ongoing retransmission consent dispute between CBS and Time Warner Cable:

“This dispute has been going on for far too long and needs to end.  CBS viewers and Time Warner Cable customers deserve better and shouldn’t have to put up with disruptions, blockages and blackouts.  I urge both companies to come together, hash out their differences, and resolve this matter as quickly as possible.”  

August 21, 2013
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STATEMENT BY SENATOR CARLUCCI REGARDING THE REVIEW BY THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION INTO UNITED WATER'S DESALINATION PROJECT

“The state Public Service Commission will finally have a real opportunity to reexamine their initial case findings to see if a long-term water supply project is truly needed for Rockland County.  Since the proposed plan began, new information that would impact the county's water supply has been discovered, not to mention that there has never been a comprehensive study done on the cost effectiveness and alternatives to this plan.  While the cost of this project has more than doubled, consumers remain concerned over this project's final price tag. 

July 19, 2013
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Summary of 2013 Senate Legislative Action

 

2013-2014 NEW YORK STATE BUDGET

 

The New York State Senate approved the 2013-14 state budget that delivers on priorities outlined by the Senate Republican Conference to provide much-needed tax relief for middle-class families, help businesses create jobs, and, for the third consecutive year, the budget keeps spending growth below two percent, which is consistent with the local spending cap that applies to school districts and local governments.  It was also the third consecutive budget approved prior to the April 1 deadline.

 

June 24, 2013
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Senator O'Brien speaks out against plan to increase energy costs for upstate ratepayers

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien and business leaders stood together today to send a clear message that upstate homeowners and small businesses should not be forced to pay $200 million to replace a downstate power plant that is of no benefit to local energy consumers.

April 5, 2013
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Ranzenhofer: State Budget phases out energy tax surcharge

The 2013-14 State Budget phases out the energy tax surcharge over three years, rejecting the Executive Budget proposal to extend the tax for an additional five years.  As a result, every ratepayer- both individuals and businesses- will see a reduction in taxes on their utility bills. Click here for more information about Senator Ranzenhofer's efforts to eliminate the energy tax surcharge.

March 28, 2013
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STATE BUDGET PROVIDES REAL TAX RELIEF FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES AND BUSINESSES, ADDRESSES CHALLENGES FACING UPSTATE

ALBANY - The New York State Senate has passed the State Budget on time for the third consecutive year, Senator Patrick M. Gallivan announced today. The spending plan adheres to a self-imposed two percent spending cap, contains significant tax relief for middle-class families and businesses, and also addresses some of the unique challenges facing Western New York.

March 27, 2013
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It's your money: Could you be paying for a downstate power plant?

Upstate businesses and families shouldn't have to pay $200 million to help replace a New York City power plant.I have reached out to the Public Service Commission expressing my concerns about the Indian Point contingency plan, and recently spoke with WHEC-TV Rochester about my concerns, as well.See http://www.whec.com/news/stories/s2965547.shtml?cat=566 for more information.(Here's an archived copy, in case the above link fails: http://www.webcitation.org/6FEsgH3xH

March 19, 2013
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O’Brien: Don't pass Indian Point costs onto upstate taxpayers

Rochester, NY - Senator O'Brien today wrote to the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) opposing efforts by Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) and New York Power Authority (NYPA) to charge Upstate taxpayers at least $200 million to subsidize potential changes to the Indian Point Energy Center, located in Westchester County.

March 15, 2013
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Senator Marchione Supports Elimination of 18-A Utility Tax Surcharge

For Immediate Release: February 5, 2013

Contact: Joshua Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-2381, marchione@nysenate.gov 

March 4, 2013
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Department of Financial Services to Speek Resolution of Insurance Claims in Areas Affected by SANDY

The NYS Department of Financial Services (DFS) is setting new rules to speed the processing of insurance claims in areas affected by Storm Sandy. The new regulation reduces the amount of time an insurer can delay its decision on a claim, and requires insurers to report to the Department on how many claims it is delaying and the reasons for the delays.

February 27, 2013
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