The New York State Senate today passed two bills to help create jobs and reduce costs for large and small businesses by improving their ability to benefit from the many economic development and energy reduction initiatives already available in the state. The measures require the state to give small businesses preference when awarding economic development assistance, and create a new Energy Savings Account program to help larger businesses save on energy costs and promote energy efficiency.
Small businesses make up 98 percent of all businesses in the state, but are often left out when funds are awarded by state economic development agencies. Larger businesses often have a competitive advantage in accessing state assistance due to having greater levels of resources and in-house expertise.
Bill S2138, sponsored by Senator Sue Serino (R-C-I, Hyde Park), would help the state target a percentage of its limited economic development resources to those businesses in greatest need of assistance and with greatest job creation potential. It requires the state’s economic development agencies to give preference to small businesses and entrepreneurs when awarding economic development assistance. Agencies would include the Department of Economic Development, the Job Development Authority, and the Urban Development Corporation, which together, control billions of dollars in state funds targeted for business growth and improvement. The bill would also direct each state economic development agency to evaluate applications for financial assistance with the goal of ensuring that small businesses and entrepreneurs receive priority consideration in the award of limited state funds.
Senator Serino said, “Actions speak louder than words when it comes to making New York ‘Open for Business.’ This bill is about actively leveling the playing field and empowering our small businesses and our entrepreneurs so that they can continue to create and maintain jobs and spur innovation. I thank my colleagues for their support and I hope that our partners in the Assembly will recognize its importance and support the bill this legislative session.”
The industrial sector saves more energy per program dollar than any other customer class, but due to the unique needs of large-scale energy customers, they are often unable to meet the demands or requirements for the state's efficiency incentive programs.
A bill passed today (S1225), sponsored by Senator Joseph Griffo (R-C-I, Rome), would enable industrial, commercial, and other large-scale energy users to create self-directed Energy Savings Accounts to invest in on-site energy efficient facility improvements and allow them to have more control over rising energy costs. The measure allows eligible large energy customers to continue contributing to assessments that fund the state’s energy efficiency programs, but gives them the ability to "bank" that funding into Energy Savings Accounts. The money in those accounts would then fund the design, implementation, and verification of energy-saving projects at their own facilities, including wind, solar, geothermal, and anaerobic digestion projects, as well as "distributed" energy resources such as micro grids, rooftop solar, fuel cells and other on-site power supplies and storage. These improvements would help businesses control the impact of future energy rate increases and reduce existing inequities in current energy assessments.
Senator Griffo, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Telecommunications, said, “This bill would establish the Clean Energy Tech Program to allow large industrial and commercial users of energy to design and create energy efficiencies in their own facilities using various surcharge funds they are required to pay toward the state’s clean energy program. This opportunity to self-direct energy optimization to meet New York's clean energy goals makes sense for these high-energy users that are especially equipped to find the most effective efficiency savings for their particular operations, and I hope the Assembly will follow the Senate in passing this legislation.”
The bills will be sent to the Assembly.