senate Bill S2057

Amended

Establishes a small business energy assistance and advocacy services program

download pdf

Sponsor

Co-Sponsors

Bill Status


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

actions

  • 10 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 08 / May / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 08 / May / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 2057A
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL BUSINESS
  • 13 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 2057B

Summary

Establishes a small business energy assistance and advocacy services program as part of the division of small business to assist small businesses in accessing energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy programs available through public and private sources; requires notice to be given to the division of small business prior to any rate increase; makes related provisions.

do you support this bill?

Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A6640
Versions:
S2057
S2057A
S2057B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Commerce, Economic Development And Small Business
Law Section:
Economic Development Law
Laws Affected:
Add §138-a, Ec Dev L; add §§24-c, amd §§71 & 84, Pub Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S2822, A235
2009-2010: S5942, A6766

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S2057

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the economic development law and the
public service law, in relation to small business energy assistance
and advocacy services

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would improve New York's
business climate by providing for a program of small business energy
assistance and advocacy.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Bill § 1 sets forth legislative
findings concealing the impact of rising costs on the States small
businesses and the need for a program of assistance and advocacy to
ensure the continued vitality of this crucial sector.

Bill § 2 adds a new § 138-a to the Economic Development Law to
establish a small business energy assistance and advocacy services
program within the Division for Small Business. The program shall:

* solicit input from small businesses and organizations representing
them on energy assistance needs; identify issues relating to energy
availability, affordability and sustainability affecting small
businesses; and develop recommendations for legislative, regulatory
and programmatic actions to address such issues;

* coordinate with entities including NYSERDA, the Power Authority and
other public utility authorities, the Public Service Commission (PSC)
and utilities to promote small business participation in developing
and implementing energy assistance programs and state energy policy;

*provide small businesses with information and materials on energy
assistance programs, cooperative fuel purchasing efforts and other
programs to maintain the affordability of energy, and provide access
to such information and materials on the Department of Economic
Development's website; and

* refer small businesses to specialists for information and assistance
on affordable alternative technologies, process changes, products and
operational methods to achieve energy savings.

The program, through the Division, shall represent the interests of
small businesses before the PSC pursuant to a new § 24-c of the Public
Service Law, and is authorized to initiate, intervene in or
Participate in any proceedings before the PSC and in any other such
energy-related proceedings as deemed necessary or appropriate. The
program shall also advocate before the PSC and other state and Federal
regulatory agencies for the adoption of appropriate regulations
providing for quit able treatment of small businesses in
energy-related policies, including but not limited to extending
reasonable consumer protections to small businesses in energy-related
matters.

Bill § 3 adds a new § 24-c to the Public Service Law to require that
the Division be given notice prior to any filing for a rate increase
or other change in utility regulation. Should the division file a


statement of intent to be a party in a PSC proceeding, it shall have
and may exercise all the rights and privileges of a party.

EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER: This bill would
establish a program of energy assistance and advocacy for small
businesses, and would authorize the Division for Small Business to
represent the interests of small businesses before the PSC and in
other energy-related proceedings, much in the way that the Consumer
Protection Board does for the State's consumers.

JUSTIFICATION: Changes in the energy market are having a major impact
on small businesses. Skyrocketing energy costs threaten the viability
of many small businesses, while the opportunities created by
conservation measures, alternative energy sources, co-generation and
net metering, and financing help often require substantial investments
of time and effort. Unlike larger businesses, swan businesses often
lack the resources to take full advantage of available programs to
assist them in lowering their energy bills and "going green."

This information gap undercuts the effectiveness of our strategies to
reduce fossil fuel use and preserve the environment. This bill would
create a "one stop" energy assistance program at the Division for
Small Business to make it easier for our entrepreneurs to learn about,
compare and select energy alternatives that will best fit their
operations and enable continued growth. The program would enhance the
ability of New York's small businesses to take advantage of programs
offered by NYSERDA, public utility authorities and investor-owned
utilities, as well as the new small business energy efficiency
programs included in the Federal "Energy Independence and Security Act
of 2007" (P.L. 110-140).

The Division would also be empowered to represent the interests of
small businesses in PSC rote cases and other proceedings relating to
energy prices and policies. While the Consumer Protection Board has
for many years been involved in advocating for residential energy
customers, no organization has been similarly vested with
responsibility for ensuring that small businesses are represented in
rate deliberations or in the development of state programs and
policies on energy. Other states(including our neighbor, Pennsylvania)
have recognized the value of a dedicated small business advocate in
energy proceedings.

Taken together, the provisions of this bill will help to ensure that
small businesses can take full advantage of conservation, efficiency
and renewable energy programs and can obtain affordable energy to
enable them - and our economy - to grow.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009-10 - A.6766 (Latimer) passed
Assembly, tabled 2009-10 - S.5942 (Stewart-Cousins) passed Senate,
tabled 2011-12 - A.235 (Latimer) passed assembly 2011-12 - S.2822
Stewart Cousins) REFERRED TO COMMERCE, ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND SMALL
BUSINESS

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: The Department of Economic Development already
receives a percentage of the annual assessment on public utilities and
corporations authorized by Public Service Law § 18-a. The percentages
of assessments allocated to specific agencies are changed each year in


the budget process. Any additional funding required to implement the
Division's responsibilities under Economic Development Law § 138-a and
Public Service Law § 24-c can be achieved through such a reallocation.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None

EFFECTIVE DATE: First day of April after having become a law.

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

                                  2057

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 10, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. LATIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Commerce, Economic  Devel-
  opment and Small Business

AN ACT to amend the economic development law and the public service law,
  in relation to small business energy assistance and advocacy services

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

  Section 1. The legislature hereby finds and declares that rising ener-
gy costs present a significant barrier to the economic viability of  New
York's  small businesses, a crucial sector of the state's economy. Small
businesses can least afford the time and cost  associated  with  seeking
opportunities  to conserve energy, utilize energy efficient products and
processes and gain access to renewable sources of energy. The  viability
of small businesses and the overall economic and environmental status of
New  York  state  will  be  enhanced  by  the development, expansion and
promotion of accessible and affordable programs to  assist  small  busi-
nesses  in  energy conservation, energy efficiency, and increased use of
renewable resources, and by ensuring equitable treatment of small  busi-
nesses in the proceedings of energy-related regulatory agencies.
  The  legislature hereby establishes a small business energy assistance
and advocacy services program as part of the division for small business
within the New York state department of economic development  to  assist
small businesses in accessing energy conservation, energy efficiency and
renewable  energy programs available through public and private sources,
and to advocate for the initiation and expansion of  such  programs  and
for  equitable  treatment  of small businesses in regulatory proceedings
related to energy.
  S 2. The economic development law is amended by adding a  new  section
138-a to read as follows:

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03293-01-3

S. 2057                             2

  S  138-A.  SMALL  BUSINESS  ENERGY  ASSISTANCE  AND  ADVOCACY SERVICES
PROGRAM.  1. THERE IS HEREBY ESTABLISHED WITHIN  THE  DIVISION  A  SMALL
BUSINESS ENERGY ASSISTANCE AND ADVOCACY SERVICES PROGRAM.
  2. THE SMALL BUSINESS ENERGY ASSISTANCE AND ADVOCACY SERVICES PROGRAM,
DIRECTLY  AND  IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER DIVISIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT AND
WITH OTHER AGENCIES OF THE STATE, FEDERAL AGENCIES OR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS,
SHALL:
  A. SOLICIT INPUT FROM SMALL BUSINESSES AND FROM ORGANIZATIONS  REPRES-
ENTING  SMALL  BUSINESSES, SUCH AS TRADE ASSOCIATIONS OR OTHER ENTITIES,
REGARDING THE ENERGY ASSISTANCE NEEDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES;
  B. WITH SUCH INPUT AND THE ASSISTANCE OF THE SMALL  BUSINESS  ADVISORY
BOARD  AND OTHER APPROPRIATE STATE AGENCIES, IDENTIFY ISSUES RELATING TO
ENERGY AVAILABILITY, AFFORDABILITY AND  SUSTAINABILITY  AFFECTING  SMALL
BUSINESSES  AND  ASSIST  THE  ADVISORY  BOARD AND THE DIVISION IN MAKING
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR LEGISLATIVE, REGULATORY AND PROGRAMMATIC ACTIONS  TO
ADDRESS SUCH ISSUES;
  C.  COORDINATE  WITH  ENTITIES  INCLUDING  THE  NEW  YORK STATE ENERGY
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, THE POWER AUTHORITY OF THE STATE  OF
NEW  YORK  AND  OTHER APPROPRIATE PUBLIC UTILITY AUTHORITIES ESTABLISHED
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FIVE OF  THE  PUBLIC  AUTHORITIES  LAW,  THE  PUBLIC
SERVICE COMMISSION, INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITIES AND OTHER APPROPRIATE ENTI-
TIES TO FACILITATE AND PROMOTE THE PARTICIPATION OF SMALL BUSINESSES AND
ASSOCIATIONS REPRESENTING SMALL BUSINESSES IN THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLE-
MENTATION OF ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS;
  D.  PROVIDE  GUIDANCE AND RECOMMENDATIONS TO THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY, THE POWER AUTHORITY OF THE STATE  OF
NEW  YORK  AND  OTHER PUBLIC UTILITY AUTHORITIES ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO
ARTICLE FIVE OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW, THE PUBLIC  SERVICE  COMMIS-
SION, INVESTOR-OWNED UTILITIES AND OTHER ENTITIES REGARDING THE DEVELOP-
MENT  AND IMPLEMENTATION OF ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS AND ON THE IMPACT
OF STATE ENERGY POLICY ON SMALL BUSINESSES;
  E. PROVIDE TO SMALL BUSINESSES INFORMATION  AND  MATERIALS  ON  ENERGY
ASSISTANCE  PROGRAMS,  COOPERATIVE  FUEL  PURCHASING  EFFORTS  AND OTHER
PROGRAMS TO MAINTAIN THE AFFORDABILITY OF ENERGY, AND PROVIDE ACCESS  TO
SUCH INFORMATION AND MATERIALS ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE; AND
  F.  REFER  SMALL BUSINESSES TO SPECIALISTS FOR INFORMATION AND ASSIST-
ANCE ON AFFORDABLE ALTERNATIVE TECHNOLOGIES, PROCESS  CHANGES,  PRODUCTS
AND OPERATIONAL METHODS TO ACHIEVE ENERGY SAVINGS.
  3.  A.  THE  SMALL  BUSINESS  ENERGY  ASSISTANCE AND ADVOCACY SERVICES
PROGRAM SHALL REPRESENT THE INTERESTS OF  SMALL  BUSINESSES  BEFORE  THE
PUBLIC  SERVICE  COMMISSION  PURSUANT  TO  SECTION  TWENTY-FOUR-C OF THE
PUBLIC SERVICE LAW, AND SHALL BE AUTHORIZED TO INITIATE, INTERVENE IN OR
PARTICIPATE IN ANY PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION  AND
IN ANY OTHER SUCH ENERGY-RELATED PROCEEDINGS AS THE DIVISION DEEMS TO BE
NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE.
  B.  THE SMALL BUSINESS ENERGY ASSISTANCE AND ADVOCACY SERVICES PROGRAM
SHALL ADVOCATE BEFORE THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AND OTHER STATE  AND
FEDERAL  REGULATORY AGENCIES FOR THE ADOPTION OF APPROPRIATE REGULATIONS
PROVIDING FOR EQUITABLE TREATMENT OF SMALL BUSINESSES IN  ENERGY-RELATED
POLICIES,  INCLUDING  BUT  NOT  LIMITED TO EXTENDING REASONABLE CONSUMER
PROTECTIONS TO SMALL BUSINESSES IN ENERGY-RELATED MATTERS.
  S 3. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 24-c to
read as follows:
  S 24-C. NOTICE TO BE GIVEN TO DIVISION  PRIOR  TO  RATE  INCREASE.  1.
NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  INCONSISTENT GENERAL, SPECIAL OR LOCAL LAW OR RULE
OR REGULATION TO THE CONTRARY, THE COMMISSION SHALL TO  THE  EXTENT  THE

S. 2057                             3

DIVISION SHALL SO REQUEST IN ANY CASES OR CLASS OF CASES, GIVE NOTICE TO
THE  DIVISION  OF  ANY  FILED  STATEMENT PROPOSING TO MODIFY OR INCREASE
RATES, SERVICES, SCHEDULE OF RATES OR ANY OTHER RATING RULE OR TO  ADOPT
OR AMEND ANY RATE OR SERVICE RULES OR REGULATIONS WITHIN FIVE DAYS AFTER
THE  COMMISSION  SHALL  HAVE  RECEIVED  SUCH  STATEMENT FROM ANY UTILITY
SUBJECT TO ITS JURISDICTION; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT IN LIEU  OF  GIVING
SUCH NOTICE, THE COMMISSION MAY DIRECT THAT THE UTILITY GIVE SUCH NOTICE
TO  THE  DIVISION.  THE COMMISSION SHALL DIRECTLY NOTIFY THE DIVISION OF
ANY SUCH CASE THAT IS NOT INITIATED BY A UTILITY.
  2. IN ANY SUCH CASE IN WHICH THE DIVISION SHALL FILE WITH THE  COMMIS-
SION A STATEMENT OF INTENT TO BE A PARTY, THE DIVISION SHALL HAVE AND IN
ITS DISCRETION MAY EXERCISE ALL THE RIGHTS AND PRIVILEGES OF A PARTY.
  3.  FOR  THE  PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE TERM "DIVISION" SHALL MEAN
THE DIVISION FOR SMALL BUSINESS ESTABLISHED BY  ARTICLE  FOUR-B  OF  THE
ECONOMIC  DEVELOPMENT  LAW,  AND  THE  TERM  "COMMISSION" SHALL MEAN THE
PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the first of April next  succeeding
the  date on which it shall have become a law. Effective immediately the
department of economic development and  the  public  service  commission
shall  be  authorized  to  take  any  and all actions necessary to fully
implement the provisions of this act on such effective date.

Comments

Open Legislation comments facilitate discussion of New York State legislation. All comments are subject to moderation. Comments deemed off-topic, commercial, campaign-related, self-promotional; or that contain profanity or hate speech; or that link to sites outside of the nysenate.gov domain are not permitted, and will not be published. Comment moderation is generally performed Monday through Friday.

By contributing or voting you agree to the Terms of Participation and verify you are over 13.