senate Bill S6195

Relates to eliminating certain utility surcharges for certain residential customers

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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

  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS
  • 10 / Feb / 2014
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE

Summary

Relates to eliminating certain utility surcharges for certain residential customers.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A8507
Versions:
S6195
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Finance
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Add ยง54, Pub Serv L

Votes

10
0
10
Aye
0
Nay
0
aye with reservations
0
absent
0
excused
0
abstained
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Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6195

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public service law, in relation to
eliminating certain utility surcharges for certain residential
customers

PURPOSE: To lower the electric bills for seniors by eliminating the
RPS, SBC, and EEPS surcharges on their electric bills.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 of the bill adds a new section to the public service law
that eliminates the RPS, SBC, and EEPS surcharges on the electric
bills for seniors that are at least 65 years of age and have an income
level consistent with the home energy assistance program eligibility
standards.

Section 2 of the bill is the effective date,

JUSTIFICATION: Historically, utility costs in New York have been
higher than in most other states. These costs are have a significant
effect on New York consumers especially our seniors. In a recent AARP
survey of New Yorkers over age 50, it was revealed that 41 percent, of
those surveyed had difficulty paying their monthly electric bill. This
figure was even higher among minority populations with 48 percent. of
African Americans and 56 percent of Hispanics age 50+ in New York
indicating that they experienced difficulty paying their electric
bills, According to the same AARP survey in 2010, there were 321,995
residential customers who had their utility service shut off for
non-payment of bills.

The high utility costs in New York are driven in part by a series of
taxes, fees and surcharges such as the renewable portfolio standard
(RPS), the system benefit charge (SBC), and the energy efficiency
portfolio standard (EEPS). For example, in 2013, New York witnessed
the highest. annual cost for these programs to date, as the total
collected for the SBC reached almost $13 million and the total for the
RPS soared past $243 million. These amounts are paid by New York
customers on their utility bills and contribute significantly to the
high cost of utility service. In fact, such fees and surcharges are
estimated to account for roughly 20% of every electric bill.

Although these surcharges may serve a worthy purpose, the increasing
costs of the surcharges are a substantial burden to seniors -
especially those on fixed or limited incomes,. As the AARP survey
revealed, some relief on electric bills may be appropriate for our
seniors in order to ensure that they can maintain adequate utility
service. To that end, this legislation provides much needed relief by
eliminating these surcharges on the utility bills of seniors that need
assistance the most.

In order to effectively help seniors with reducing the burden of high
electric bills, direct and tangible benefits must be provided. Other
proposed solutions for seniors merely create new (but duplicative)
government bureaucracies that raise the cost of government and do not
deliver a direct reduction in a senior's monthly electric bill. By
eliminating these ever-increasing surcharges for seniors, this bill


will lower their monthly electric bills, allow them to better maintain
utility service and enhance their ability to acquire other necessities
of life.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: On the 90th day after it shall have become a law.

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

                                  6195

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 8, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MAZIARZ -- 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 eliminating
  certain utility surcharges for certain residential customers

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

  Section  1.  The public service law is amended by adding a new section
54 to read as follows:
  S 54. ELIMINATION OF SURCHARGES  FOR  CERTAIN  RESIDENTIAL  CUSTOMERS.
NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  LAW,  RULE,  REGULATION  OR ORDER TO THE CONTRARY,
NEITHER THE SURCHARGE FOR THE SYSTEM BENEFIT CHARGE  NOR  THE  SURCHARGE
FOR  THE  RENEWABLE  PORTFOLIO STANDARD NOR THE SURCHARGE FOR THE ENERGY
EFFICIENCY PORTFOLIO STANDARD SHALL APPLY TO,  OR  BE  APPLIED  TO,  ANY
ELECTRIC  OR GAS BILL FOR A RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER THAT IS AT LEAST SIXTY-
FIVE YEARS OF AGE WHOSE INCOME LEVEL WOULD QUALIFY SUCH CUSTOMER FOR THE
HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM AS DESCRIBED IN PART 393 OF TITLE  18  OF
THE NEW YORK CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS. NO REVENUES FOREGONE BY A GAS
CORPORATION  OR  AN ELECTRIC CORPORATION OR ANY STATE ENTITY AS A RESULT
OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE RECOVERED FROM ANY  OTHER
CUSTOMER  OR  CLASS  OF  CUSTOMERS. THE COMMISSION SHALL ADOPT RULES AND
REGULATIONS RELATING TO AGE AND INCOME VERIFICATION AND ANY OTHER  RULES
AND  REGULATIONS  AS  IT  DEEMS  NECESSARY  AND  PROPER TO IMPLEMENT THE
PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day  after  it  shall
have  become  a  law;  provided  however, that effective immediately the
public service commission is authorized to amend, revise  and/or  repeal
any  rule,  regulation, order or policy necessary for the implementation
of this act on or before such effective date.


 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13295-01-4

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