senate Bill S1226

Requires the public service commission to audit utility submetering orders, compare usage before submetering to usage after submetering orders, prepare report

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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

  • 09 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Summary

Requires the public service commission to audit previously approved utility submetering orders, to compare usage before submetering to usage after submetering orders were implemented, and to prepare a report concerning its findings.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A981
Versions:
S1226
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Energy And Telecommunications
Law Section:
Public Services
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S1397, A971
2009-2010: S5009, A7814

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1226

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to require the public service commission to audit previously approved
utility submetering orders, compare usage before submetering to usage
after submetering orders were implemented, and prepare a report
concerning its findings

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To require the Public Service
Commission to perform an audit regarding submetering orders it has
issued in the last five years to determine compliance by building
owners of utility price caps and tenant protection provisions, and to
determine if submetering has resulted in energy savings in those
buildings. The Commission will have twelve months to complete the
audit and make a report to the legislature and until that time no new
submetering orders may be approved.

: Amends the public service laws:

-Requires the Public Service Commission to audit all utility
submetering orders from January 1, 2004 through the effective date of
the act and determine whether utility price caps and tenant
protection provisions have been complied with as well as comparing
the rate and cost of utility usage prior to the submetering order and
after the submetering order;
-The audit must be completed within twelve months;
-Requires the Public Service Commission to make a report to the
governor and the legislature of its findings, conclusions, and
recommendations no later than ninety days after completing the audit;
-Prohibits new submetering orders from being approved until the report
is received by the governor and the legislature;
-Act taking effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:
In 1951, the Public Service Commission prohibited all
residential electric submetering, calling the practice "parasitic."
That decision was held up in courts (Campo Corp. v. Feinberg, 279 App.
Div. 302 (3d Dept. 1952) affirmed 303 N.Y. 995 (1952). As a
consequence, utilities were directed by the PSC to adopt electric
tariffs broadly prohibiting the resale of utility service. The
previously permitted landlord submetering was converted to direct
utility metering.
Subsequently, the practice of submetering was again allowed by the PSC
on a case by case basis, mainly for residential cooperative and
condominium projects, where tenants have an ownership and governance
interest. Public service commission regulations and numerous orders
have allowed landlords waivers from the general prohibition against
resale of utility service contained in commission regulations and
utility tariffs.
As a result, landlords are being allowed to be monopoly providers of
electric service to their captive tenants. Also, in many instances
the state division of housing and community renewal has allowed
landlords
who previously rented with utility service included in the rent to


change the terms of leases so as to shift responsibility for payment
of electric charges from landlords to tenants.
Recently, submetering has been recast as an environmental cause,
encouraging consumers to conserve energy by making them directly
responsible for the costs associated with their dwelling unit's
energy usage. But as utility costs rise some building owners have
begun to see this as a way to pass high costs on to their tenants,
and as building owners are not obligated to reveal energy
inefficiencies in their buildings as part of their applications (nor
are they required to make efficiency improvements), these costs can
be very high.
This bill will allow the legislature to review the current practices
of submetering and ensure that the goals of energy conservation are
more than theoretical, that tenants are being protected as per the
submetering orders, and that all applicable utility price caps are
adhered to.
If not, the findings and recommendations of the commission's audit
should be helpful in making a public policy determination of what
should happen next on this subject.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-12: Referred to Energy & Telecommunications (S.1397)
2009-10: Referred to Energy & Telecommunications (S.5009)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  1226

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 9, 2013
                               ___________

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

AN  ACT  to  require  the  public service commission to audit previously
  approved utility submetering orders, compare usage before  submetering
  to  usage  after  submetering  orders  were implemented, and prepare a
  report concerning its findings

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

  Section  1.  The  public  service commission shall audit all   utility
submetering orders approved by the public service commission during  the
period  of  January  1, 2004 through the effective date of this act, and
shall specifically determine whether all applicable utility  price  caps
and tenant protection provisions have been complied with and compare the
rate  and cost of utility usage before submetering to usage after imple-
mentation of submetering orders. This audit shall  be  completed  within
twelve months following the effective date of these provisions.
  S 2. Upon completion of the audit, the public service commission shall
make  a  report  to  the  governor  and the legislature of its findings,
conclusions and recommendations, and shall submit with such report  such
legislative proposals as it deems necessary to implement its recommenda-
tions.  This  report  shall be submitted no later than ninety days after
completion of the audit. No new submetering  orders  shall  be  approved
until  the public service commission report is submitted to the governor
and the legislature.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01881-01-3

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