New Financial Audit and Regulatory Measures Would Help Make LIPA More Accountable to Ratepayers
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) is calling for two new LIPA oversight measures which will help make the authority more accountable and transparent to its 1.1 million ratepayers.
“LIPA, quite frankly, has a trust problem with its ratepayers who are skeptical about how LIPA is spending their money. Greater transparency and oversight will help make LIPA more accountable to ratepayers who are tired of paying some of the highest utility bills in the country,” said Senator Fuschillo, a member of the Senate’s Energy & Telecommunications Committee.
Senator Fuschillo is calling for a full management and financial audit of LIPA conducted by an independent firm. This audit would be conducted under the oversight of the New York State Public Service Commission. PSC Chairman Garry Brown testified during Senator Fuschillo’s public hearing on LIPA that the PSC would be open to such a measure.
In addition, Senator Fuschillo is calling for legislation to give the State’s Public Service Commission (PSC) full regulatory over LIPA. This would give the PSC the authority to review and approve all LIPA rate increase requests and examine LIPA’s financial practices. The PSC states it does not have any regulatory authority over LIPA under current law, an interpretation which has been upheld by the courts.
Senator Fuschillo’s calls for additional LIPA oversight follow a public hearing he held to examine LIPA’s recent overcharges which led to ratepayers being overcharged by a combined $367 million. In addition to the overcharges, the hearing examined LIPA’s financial practices and what other measures are needed to improve oversight of LIPA.