senate Bill S1979

Provides that every schedule of rates of gas and electric corporations which is based on operation of over 18 months, shall be reviewed annually

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 14 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Summary

Provides that every gas or electric rate schedule, which is based on projections of revenues, expenditures and utility operations for more than 18 months, shall be annually reviewed by the public service commission; such review proceeding shall include all the parties involved in the proceeding at which such schedule was originally approved.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2365
Versions:
S1979
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Energy And Telecommunications
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §66, Pub Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: A1672, A1672
2007-2008: A8622, A8622

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1979

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public service law, in relation to requiring annual
reviews of multi-year rate plans

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
In its January 2007 report, the
Assembly Queens Power Outage Task Force recommended several measures
to improve oversight of utilities and prevent future blackouts. This
bill will restore utility accountability by requiring annual reviews
of utility performance under multi-year rate plans.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Bill §1 amends paragraph (f) of subdivision 12
of §66 of the Public Service Law to require that any utility rate
filing based on future revenues, expenditures and operations for a
period of more than 18 months must also include annual revenue and
expenditure projections and benchmarks for maintenance and
operations, service quality and other items deemed appropriate by the
Public Service Commission (PSC). The PSC shall commence a proceeding
to review the continued validity of such projections not more than 3
months after the anniversary date of the date such schedule became
effective. Participation in this proceeding would be open to each
party to the original proceeding and any new parties that are likely
to contribute to the development of a complete record. Similar review
proceedings shall be commenced in subsequent years of the multi-year
rate plan.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER:
Current law does
not address the diminution of opportunities for PSC and public
oversight created by the use of multi-year rate plans.

JUSTIFICATION:
Last summer, the western part of Queens suffered a
massive power outage that lasted 9 days. The Assembly Queens Power
Outage Task Force studied the outage's causes and the inadequate
responses by the company responsible for the transmission and
distribution system, Consolidated Edison, and by the Public Service
Commission.
One underlying cause of this debacle was found to be the reliance by
New York's utility regulators on antiquated laws, regulations and
policies that let companies engaged in energy transmission and
distribution operate without effective oversight.

The Task Force found that the increasing use of negotiated multi-year
rate plans was undercutting the ability of the PSC, its staff and
other interested members of the public to oversee the operations of
regulated public utilities. Historically, one of the mainstays of
utility regulation was the practice of conducting annual rate cases
before the PSC with full involvement of the Consumer Protection Board
and other public
intervenors. This practice promoted regular, timely and effective
feedback on utilities' activities, undertakings and expenditures.


In recent years, the PSC's growing reliance on multi-year rate plans
has reduced both the frequency and effectiveness of outside scrutiny
of utility performance. The Task Force found that this could be an
underlying factor in Consolidated Edison's decisions to defer or
minimize maintenance expenditures, potentially compromising the
safety and reliability of the grid. This bill will restore the prior
practice of more regular and thorough reviews of utility actions
under multi-year rate plans, resulting in more attention to service
reliability and safety issues.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
180th day after enactment; provided that the Public
Service Commission is immediately authorized and directed to
promulgate rules and take other actions needed to fully implement the
bill on such date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1979

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sen. GIANARIS -- 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 service law, in relation to requiring annual
  reviews of multi-year rate plans

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Paragraph (f) of subdivision 12 of section 66 of the public
service  law,  as amended by chapter 154 of the laws of 1989, is amended
to read as follows:
  (f) Whenever there shall be filed with the commission by  any  utility
any  schedule stating a new rate or charge, or any change in any form of
contract or agreement or any rule or regulation relating  to  any  rate,
charge  or service, or in any general privilege or facility, the commis-
sion may, at any time within sixty days from the date when such schedule
would or has become effective, either upon complaint  or  upon  its  own
initiative,  and, if it so orders, without answer or other formal plead-
ing by the utility, but upon reasonable notice, hold a hearing  concern-
ing  the propriety of a change proposed by the filing. If such change is
a major change, the commission shall hold such a hearing.  Pending  such
hearing  and  decision  thereon,  the  commission, upon filing with such
schedule and delivering to the utility, a statement in  writing  of  its
reasons  therefor,  may  suspend the operation of such schedule, but not
for a longer period than one hundred and twenty  days  beyond  the  time
when  it  would  otherwise  go  into effect. After full hearing, whether
completed before or after the schedule goes into effect, the  commission
may  make  such  order  in  reference  thereto  as  would be proper in a
proceeding begun after the rate, charge, form of contract or  agreement,
rule,  regulation,  service,  general  privilege  or facility had become
effective. If any such hearing cannot be concluded within the period  of

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05105-01-1

S. 1979                             2

suspension as above stated, the commission may extend the suspension for
a further period, not exceeding six months.
  IF ANY SUCH SCHEDULE IS BASED ON PROJECTIONS OF REVENUES, EXPENDITURES
AND  UTILITY  OPERATIONS  FOR A PERIOD OF MORE THAN EIGHTEEN MONTHS, THE
COMMISSION SHALL ORDER THAT SUCH SCHEDULE INCLUDE ANNUAL PROJECTIONS  OR
REVENUES AND EXPENDITURES AND BENCHMARKS FOR MAINTENANCE AND OPERATIONS,
SERVICE   QUALITY  AND SUCH OTHER PROJECTIONS AS THE COMMISSION MAY DEEM
APPROPRIATE, AND SHALL COMMENCE A PROCEEDING  TO  REVIEW  THE  CONTINUED
VALIDITY  OF SUCH PROJECTIONS NOT MORE THAN THREE MONTHS AFTER THE ANNI-
VERSARY  DATE OF THE DATE SUCH SCHEDULE BECAME EFFECTIVE. ALL PARTIES TO
THE  PROCEEDING AT WHICH THE SCHEDULE WAS ORIGINALLY CONSIDERED SHALL BE
ENTITLED TO  PARTY STATUS IN THE REVIEW PROCEEDING;  PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,
THAT  NOTHING  IN  THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL PRECLUDE THE ADMISSION  OF ADDI-
TIONAL PERSONS TO THE PROCEEDING IF  THEIR  INTERVENTION  IS  LIKELY  TO
CONTRIBUTE  TO   THE  DEVELOPMENT  OF A COMPLETE RECORD OR IS  OTHERWISE
FAIR AND IN THE  PUBLIC INTEREST.  UPON A DETERMINATION THAT ANY OF  THE
PROJECTIONS WAS NOT MET OR IS IN NEED OF RECONSIDERATION, THE COMMISSION
MAY  MAKE  SUCH  ORDERS  AS  IT  DEEMS  APPROPRIATE. A REVIEW PROCEEDING
COMMENCED PURSUANT TO THIS PARAGRAPH  MAY  BE  DEEMED  TO  CONSTITUTE  A
PROCEEDING  UNDERTAKEN  PURSUANT  TO SUBDIVISION TWENTY OF THIS SECTION.
SIMILAR REVIEW PROCEEDINGS SHALL BE COMMENCED NOT MORE THAN THREE MONTHS
AFTER ANY SUBSEQUENT ANNIVERSARY DATE OF THE ORIGINAL SCHEDULE'S  EFFEC-
TIVE  DATE,  PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT SUCH PROCEEDINGS SHALL CONSIDER ANY
REVISED PROJECTIONS ORDERED IN PRIOR REVIEW PROCEEDINGS.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law. Provided that the public service  commission
is  immediately  authorized  and  directed  to take any and all actions,
including but not limited to the promulgation of  any  necessary  rules,
necessary to fully implement the provisions of this act on its effective
date.

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