senate Bill S1227

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Relates to converting residential rental buildings from being mass-metered to submetered

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jan 08, 2014 referred to energy and telecommunications
Jan 09, 2013 referred to energy and telecommunications

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S1227 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A966
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Public Service Law
Laws Affected:
Ren §53 to be §54, add §53, Pub Serv L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Sessions:
2011-2012: S1398, A734
2009-2010: S5383A, A7871A

S1227 - Bill Texts

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Relates to application requirements for private or government entities that wish to provide electric service converting residential rental buildings from being mass-metered to submetered.

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BILL NUMBER:S1227

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the public service law, in relation to converting residential
rental buildings from being mass-metered to submetered

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
To provide for a transparent procedure by which a private or
government entity applying for submeter a residential rental building
shall make certain facts of the building known that pertain to its
energy efficiency, require minimum improvements to the building for
energy efficiency, and provide for tenant input as the application is
considered by the Public Service Commission.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
The public service law is amended to:

-Provide that a master-metered residential rental building may be
converted to submetering if a private or government entity providing
electric services files an application with the Public Service
Commission and meets the conditions of this act;

-Requires the applicant to include in the application a procedure for
written notification to tenants of the proposal to submeter within 30
days of the application, the notification shall include: a summary of
the information provided to the commission, inform the tenants that a
public comment period has commenced, and indicate the length of that
comment period; the address and telephone number of the nearest
Commission office; the date, time, and location of a public hearing
set by the Commission to hear testimony from the public; where on the
Commission website the entire application can be viewed and how a
free copy can be requested by mail as well as providing a toll free
number for making such requests; a statement stating any economic
advantages of submetering at the premisis; a description of the
submetering service that will be installed; the method of calculating
utility rates for tenants, including information about the utility's
tariffed residential rate for directly metered service; describe
compliant procedures and tenant protections consistent with the Home
Energy Fair Practice Act; demonstrate that arrangements have been
made with the local social services department to continue to provide
electric service upon acceptance of utility assistance grants.

-Requires the Commission hold a public hearing near the residential
building at least 30 days prior to the conditional and final approval
or denial of the submetering application;

-Requires the applicant to provide to include in their application to
the Commission: findings of a study commissioned by the applicant of
the thermal characteristics of the building; records of the last
twenty-four months of electrical usage and charges; the projected
submetered rates
that the current usage rate for the various dwelling types that exist
in the building; a plan to replace all non-energy star rated
appliances provided by the applicant to energy-star rated appliances;


-The applicant shall pay all the costs of an independent energy
consultant chosen by the tenants if a group of at least 50% of the
tenants request such analysis and at least 3 bids are received by the
applicant;

-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.

To safeguard the rights of tenants, it is important to ensure that the
submetering application process is transparent and affords affected
residents the opportunity to comment on the application as well as
ensuring that the thermal characteristics of the building are known,
deficiencies in energy efficiency are reasonably mitigated, and that
there are checks in place to safeguard against tenants being unduly
burdened from unjust and unreasonable submetered charges.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011: Referred to Energy & Telecommunications
2009: Referred to Energy & Telecommunications

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  1227

                       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 amend the public service law, in relation to converting resi-
  dential rental buildings from being mass-metered to submetered

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

  Section  1. Section 53 of the public service law is renumbered section
54 and a new section 53 is added to read as follows:
  S 53. RESIDENTIAL RENTAL BUILDING  SUBMETERING.  1.  A  MASTER-METERED
RESIDENTIAL  RENTAL  BUILDING  MAY  BE CONVERTED TO BE SUBMETERED IF THE
OWNER OF THE BUILDING FILES AN APPLICATION TO CONVERT  THE  BUILDING  TO
SUBMETERING WITH THE COMMISSION, PROVIDED THAT:
  (A)  THE  APPLICANT  APPLYING  TO  PROVIDE SUBMETERED ELECTRIC SERVICE
INCLUDES WITH THE APPLICATION A  PROCEDURE  FOR  NOTIFYING  IN  WRITING,
WITHIN  THIRTY  DAYS  OF FILING THE APPLICATION WITH THE COMMISSION, ALL
TENANTS OF RECORD OF THE PROPOSAL TO SUBMETER. THE NOTIFICATION SHALL:
  (I) INCLUDE A SUMMARY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED TO THE COMMISSION;
  (II) INFORM TENANTS THAT A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD HAS COMMENCED;
  (III) STATE THE DATE AFTER WHICH COMMENTS DIRECTED TO  THE  COMMISSION
WILL NO LONGER BE ACCEPTED;
  (IV) PROMINENTLY DISPLAY THE ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE NEAR-
EST PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION OFFICE;
  (V)  STATE  THE  DATE, TIME, AND LOCATION OF THE PUBLIC HEARING SET BY
THE COMMISSION TO HEAR TESTIMONY FROM THE PUBLIC;
  (VI) DIRECT THE  TENANT  WHERE  ON  THE  PUBLIC  SERVICE  COMMISSION'S
WEBSITE  THE  ENTIRE  APPLICATION CAN BE VIEWED, AS WELL AS TO PROVIDE A
TOLL-FREE TELEPHONE NUMBER AND ADDRESS FROM WHICH A TENANT OF RECORD MAY
REQUEST A COPY OF THE COMPLETE APPLICATION TO BE MAILED TO  SUCH  TENANT
AT NO COST TO THE TENANT;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD02172-01-3

S. 1227                             2

  (VII)  INCLUDE  A  STATEMENT SUBSTANTIATING ANY ECONOMIC ADVANTAGES OF
SUBMETERING OVER DIRECT UTILITY METERING AT THE PREMISES PROPOSED TO  BE
SUBMETERED;
  (VIII)  INCLUDE  A DESCRIPTION OF THE TYPE OF SUBMETERING SYSTEM TO BE
INSTALLED AND A VALIDATION OF ITS RELIABILITY AND ACCURACY;
  (IX) STATE THE METHOD AND BASIS  FOR  CALCULATING  RATES  TO  TENANTS,
WHICH  SHALL  INCLUDE  A  MAXIMUM  RATE  PROVISION PREVENTING CHARGES TO
TENANTS FROM EXCEEDING THE TARIFFED RATES AND CHARGES FOR  SERVICE  FROM
THE LOCAL DISTRIBUTION UTILITY;
  (X)  STATE COMPLAINT PROCEDURES AND TENANT PROTECTIONS CONSISTENT WITH
THE HOME ENERGY FAIR PRACTICES ACT; AND
  (XI) DEMONSTRATE THAT SATISFACTORY ARRANGEMENTS HAVE  BEEN  MADE  WITH
THE  LOCAL  DEPARTMENT  OF SOCIAL SERVICES TO PROVIDE CONTINUED ELECTRIC
SERVICE UPON ACCEPTANCE OF VENDOR PAYMENT OF UTILITY  ASSISTANCE  GRANTS
IN  ACCORDANCE WITH THE STATE PLAN FOR REGULAR AND EMERGENCY HOME ENERGY
ASSISTANCE UNDER SECTION NINETY-SEVEN OF THE SOCIAL  SERVICES  LAW,  THE
EMERGENCY   UTILITY   ASSISTANCE   PROGRAM  UNDER  SECTION  ONE  HUNDRED
THIRTY-ONE-S OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW, AND IN  ACCORDANCE  WITH  OTHER
PROVISIONS  OF  THE  SOCIAL SERVICES LAW OR REGULATIONS OF THE OFFICE OF
TEMPORARY AND  DISABILITY  ASSISTANCE  RELATING  TO  UTILITY  ASSISTANCE
PAYMENTS.
  (B) THE COMMISSION HOLDS A PUBLIC HEARING AT A LOCATION NEAR THE RESI-
DENTIAL  RENTAL  BUILDING  AT LEAST THIRTY DAYS PRIOR TO THE CONDITIONAL
AND FINAL APPROVAL OR DENIAL OF THE SUBMETERING APPLICATION.
  (C) THE APPLICANT INCLUDES WITH THE APPLICATION:
  (I) FINDINGS OF A STUDY COMMISSIONED BY THE APPLICANT OF  THE  THERMAL
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BUILDING;
  (II)  RECORDS  OF  THE LAST TWENTY-FOUR MONTHS OF ELECTRICAL USAGE AND
CHARGES;
  (III) THE PROJECTED SUBMETERED RATES AT THE CURRENT USAGE RATE FOR THE
VARIOUS DWELLING UNIT TYPES THAT EXIST IN THE BUILDING;
  (IV) A PLAN TO REPLACE ALL NON-ENERGY STAR RATED  APPLIANCES  PROVIDED
BY THE APPLICANT TO THE TENANTS WITH ENERGY STAR RATED APPLIANCES.
  (D)  THE APPLICANT PAYS ALL COSTS OF AN INDEPENDENT ENERGY ANALYSIS OF
THE BUILDING BY ONE OF THE CONSULTANTS CHOSEN BY THE TENANTS IF A  GROUP
OF AT LEAST FIFTY PERCENT OF THE TENANTS OF RECORD REQUEST SUCH ANALYSIS
AND  THE  GROUP OF TENANTS PROVIDES TO THE APPLICANT AT LEAST THREE BIDS
FROM CONSULTANTS WHO CAN PERFORM SUCH ANALYSIS.
  2. (A) ALL APPLICATIONS FILED  PURSUANT  TO  THE  PROVISIONS  OF  THIS
SECTION SHALL BE SUBJECT TO A TWO-TIERED APPROVAL PROCESS BY THE COMMIS-
SION.  INITIAL APPROVAL OF AN APPLICATION, IF GRANTED BY THE COMMISSION,
SHALL BE GRANTED FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR, AT WHICH TIME,  THE  APPROVAL
SHALL  AUTOMATICALLY EXPIRE; PROVIDED THAT, WITHIN THREE MONTHS PRIOR OR
SUBSEQUENT TO THE EXPIRATION OF THE GRANT OF CONDITIONAL  APPROVAL,  THE
APPLICANT  MAY  FILE  FOR  REVIEW  OF THE APPLICATION FOR THE PURPOSE OF
OBTAINING FINAL APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION. ANY  APPLICANT  FILING  FOR
REVIEW  FOR FINAL APPROVAL OF AN APPLICATION SHALL SUBMIT TO THE COMMIS-
SION A LISTING OF THE ACTUAL METERED USAGE  RATES  AND  CHARGES  TO  THE
TENANTS  DURING  THE  PERIOD OF THE CONDITIONAL APPROVAL OF THE APPLICA-
TION.
  (B) ANY APPLICANT WHOSE APPLICATION FOR CONDITIONAL APPROVAL IS DENIED
BY THE COMMISSION MAY RE-FILE AN APPLICATION NO EARLIER THAN SIX  MONTHS
FOLLOWING THE DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION BY THE COMMISSION.
  (C) THE COMMISSION SHALL PROVIDE WRITTEN NOTICE TO AN APPLICANT OF ITS
DECISION REGARDING APPLICATIONS WITHIN THIRTY DAYS OF THE PUBLIC HEARING
REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION ONE OF THIS SECTION. ALL DENIALS OF APPLICATIONS

S. 1227                             3

SHALL  STATE  THE REASONS FOR THE DENIAL, SHALL SPECIFY THE MEASURES THE
APPLICANT MUST TAKE TO QUALIFY FOR APPROVAL OF THE APPLICATION AND SHALL
ADVISE THE APPLICANT OF HIS OR HER RIGHT TO INVESTIGATION AND REVIEW  OF
THE  DENIAL OF THE APPLICATION IF THE APPLICANT CONSIDERS SUCH DENIAL TO
BE WITHOUT JUSTIFICATION.
  S 2. The public service commission  shall  promulgate  any  rules  and
regulations  necessary  for the implementation of this act on its effec-
tive date.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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