Senate moves energy policy forward with passage of Article X and remote net metering bills

George D. Maziarz

May 9, 2011

Senator George Maziarz (R-C, Newfane) announced that two key bills relating to New York’s energy future were approved today in the State Senate: legislation establishing a process for the siting of electric generation facilities (S.191) and legislation to permit remote net metering (S.3407-A).  As Chairman of the Energy and Telecommunications Committee, Senator Maziarz sponsored both bills and helped advance them through his committee.

Article X of the Public Service Law, which governs the siting of new electricity generation facilities in the state, expired in 2003.  Since then the development of major new facilities in New York has been at a standstill, despite a growing demand.

“There must be some process in place to site and build a new generating facility in New York State,” Senator Maziarz said.  “We need to be able to stay ahead of demand, and we need to make every effort to promote the reliability and affordability energy.  Therefore a new Article X law is long overdue.”

The remote net metering bill, which was approved unanimously, will allow non-residential ratepayers and farms to apply net metering credits to meters at other locations on the customer's property in order to offset the customer's total annual energy costs.  Currently the credits may only be used against a single, directly connected meter.

“This legislation will help a variety of customers—farms, businesses, local governments—take full advantage of the benefits of having installed renewable energy systems,” Senator Maziarz said.  “By spreading out excess power over multiple meters instead of losing it, these ratepayers will reduce their operating costs.  Importantly, when the ratepayer is a local government or school district, the taxpayers in that jurisdiction won’t have to foot quite so high a bill.  This is exactly how we should be utilizing 21st century green technology to achieve not only energy savings, but cost savings.”

Remote net metering legislation was also approved in the Assembly today and will be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

These legislative initiatives follow the recent enactment of the ReCharge NY program to ensure and expand business’ access to low-cost hydropower.

“As we achieved a positive result in reforming the Power For Jobs program, I’m confident that we can make significant strides forward in advancing these other aspects of our energy policy,” Senator Maziarz said.  “These measures reflect the central role that energy issues play in the ability of businesses to succeed in New York and they need to be addressed.”