LaValle Bill: LIPA Must Get Public Service Commission Approval Before Hiking Rates.
New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle (R,C,I – Port Jefferson) passed legislation today (S2581) that would make rates fair, just and transparent. Under LaValle’s bill the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) would be required to seek approval by the Public Service Commission (PSC) if LIPA seeks a rate increase by more than two and a half percent per year. If enacted, the PSC would be required to review and approve LIPA's rate increase requests before they are passed on to Long Island ratepayers.
LaValle introduced similar legislation in 2008 that passed both houses of the legislature but was vetoed by then Governor David Paterson.
Businesses and home owners are paying surcharges equal to that of their energy usage. “The costs included within LIPA’s fuel surcharge should be subject to a public review to prove whether the charges were justified,” LaValle said, and pointed to the recent revelation that LIPA over-collected $136 million in fuel costs last year as proof that further oversight is needed.
“Long Island ratepayers will benefit from the comprehensive review of LIPA’s practices by the professional staff of the PSC,” LaValle said. “We have suffered too long due to the lack of strong oversight of the practices and rate making of LIPA.”
"This measure will protect businesses and homeowners from unfair rate hikes and ensure greater oversight of LIPA's rate increase practices," concluded Senator LaValle.
LaValle’s bill must now pass the State Assembly and be signed by the Governor.
LaValle said the Senate will hold hearings about LIPA’s over-collection of fuel costs on Thursday April 7 at SUNY Farmingdale.