Owen H. Johnson

February 02, 2012

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed the LIPA Oversight Bill that will ensure better service and electricity rates for power customers on Long Island. The new law requires the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) to adhere to best-industry practices to maximize efficiency, undergo periodic audits, and increase transparency.

"This new law is an important step toward improving efficiency and transparency at LIPA to ensure ratepayers are protected," Governor Cuomo said. "LIPA's customers deserve to have their complaints addressed in a timely and effective manner, and this law will help make sure the people of Long Island are better served. I thank Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Sweeney for sponsoring this legislation."

Senator Johnson said, “This new law will provide meaningful oversight of LIPA and will offer ratepayers a vehicle do have complaints reviewed by the Consumer Protection Division of the New York State Department of State.  I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important legislation into law.”

The law requires LIPA to undergo periodic audits of internal policies and procedures to improve efficiency and transparency. The LIPA Board will be required to publicly present the findings and recommendations of the audit, allowing LIPA's decisions to be held to a more rigorous standard than those that currently exists for any other utility in the state.

To ensure that LIPA customers have a sufficient consumer advocate, the new law gives the Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection specific authority to investigate any complaints made by customers. DOS will mediate and refer such complaints to appropriate state and local agencies for further review. The Department of Public Service will oversee the audit process. The law takes effect immediately.