Urges Governor Cuomo to Sign Legislation Which Would Require LIPA to Obtain PSC Approval Before Raising Rates
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) announced that legislation he cosponsored requiring LIPA to get approval from the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) before raising its rates was recently approved by the State Assembly. The State Senate passed the legislation in April.
“Long Islanders cannot afford to keep paying some of the highest utility costs in the country; we need greater oversight of LIPA. Requiring PSC review and approval of LIPA rate increases will give new protections to ratepayers and make LIPA more accountable and transparent to Long Islanders. I hope that Governor Cuomo will sign this legislation into law when it reaches his desk,” said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the Senate’s Energy Committee.
The legislation (S2581) would create greater oversight of LIPA by requiring LIPA to notify the PSC prior to implementing an increase in average customer rates exceeding 2.5 percent over a 12-month period. Those hikes, as well as extensions or re-establishment of any portion of a temporary rate increase over 2.5 percent, would also be subject to a full evidentiary hearing and could not move forward without approval from the PSC.
LIPA customers have long questioned LIPA’s handling of their ratepayer dollars. LIPA disclosed two overcharges earlier this year which cost ratepayers a combined $367 million. Senator Fuschillo held a public hearing in April which examined these overcharges, LIPA’s financial practices, and what other measures are needed to improve oversight of LIPA. Senator Fuschillo also requested an independent and comprehensive audit of LIPA following the hearing
The legislation will be sent to Governor Cuomo for consideration.