Albany – April 15, 2011 - Senator Roy McDonald was joined by Assemblyman Tony Jordan, NYS Association of Counties Executive Director Stephen Acquario and energy consultant Gordon Boyd to find solutions on why Capital Region energy costs are the higher than any other region in New York State.
“This is a very serious issue, it’s expensive to live in New York to begin with and this is just another example how difficult it can be,” said Senator McDonald. “I’m looking for an explanation on why we’re paying more than the rest of the state, and more importantly we need solutions to these real problems.”
On average, Capital Region energy consumers pay 20 percent more than other regions in the state. This discrepancy is believed to be attributed to transmission congestion with the regions electric grid. Transmission congestion occurs when more electricity is needed in a local area than the electric grid can accommodate, resulting in local prices increasing.
Assemblyman Tony Jordan (R-Jackson) discussed the impact higher energy costs have on the agricultural industry.
“The agricultural industry is extremely important to the 112th District and dairy, in particular, relies heavily on reasonable energy prices,” said Assemblyman Jordan. “When a comparison is made between our energy costs and states we compete with in the dairy industry, energy prices are roughly 30 percent higher, resulting in what could amount to nearly $25,000 in additional expenses for our local family farms compared to competitors in neighboring states.”
Gordon Boyd, President of Energy Next Inc., initially discussed with McDonald the problem and touched on why solutions are needed.
“Regulatory agencies need to turn on the lights because right now we’re in the dark and it’s hurting our local economy,” said Boyd. “We’re talking about between $100 and $200 million a year in added electrical costs paid by consumers of all sizes in the Capital Region.”
“Energy is a necessity for society, from homeowners to local businesses, we need to work toward lowering these costs,” said Aquario. “I want to thank Senator McDonald for working to protect the counties and consumers in his district and the Capital Region by making them aware of these added costs.”
Senator McDonald said that he will be reaching out to the Governor’s office and the Public Service Commission for more information and to work out a solution on the situation.