Authorizes the secretary of state to appoint a person from the utility intervention unit within the consumer protection division to serve on the state energy planning board.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the energy law, in relation to the composition of the state energy planning board
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
The bill will restore consumer representation on the State Energy Planning Board.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Amends subdivision 1 of section 6-102 of the energy law, directing the
Secretary of State to appoint a representative from the Consumer Protection Division's Utility Intervention Unit to serve on the State Energy Planning Board.
Over the past 15 years there has been a steep decline in state and independent resources dedicated to consumer advocacy. New York used to have robust network of state and not-for-profit entities whose mission was to stand up for the interests of residents, small businesses and low-income families when it came to energy matters. In 1994, the Consumer Protection Board had 31 staff people dedicated to utility intervention. There were also independent advocates like the Citizens' Utility Board and the Public Utility Law Project. Since that time, the utility industry has been deregulated, creating a complicated and confusing marketplace, and these important groups have been dissolved and de-funded, leaving the average citizen without a voice.
The Consumer Protection Board was eliminated in 2012. The Utility Intervention Unit was transferred to the Department of State. However, their seat on the State Energy Planning Board was not included in the new statute. This legislation will restore their representation on the Board, ensuring the considerations of consumer interests are included in the State Energy plan.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5290 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE May 15, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. TKACZYK -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the energy law, in relation to the composition of the state energy planning board THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 6-102 of the energy law, as amended by chapter 195 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows: 1. There shall be established a state energy planning board, herein- after referred to as the "board", which shall consist of the chair of the public service commission, the commissioner of environmental conser- vation, the commissioner of economic development, the commissioner of transportation, the commissioner of labor, the commissioner of the divi- sion of homeland security and emergency services, the commissioner of agriculture and markets, the commissioner of health, the secretary of state and the president of the New York state energy research and devel- opment authority. The governor, the speaker of the assembly and the temporary president of the senate shall each appoint one additional representative to serve on the board; IN ADDITION, THE SECRETARY OF STATE SHALL APPOINT, FROM THE UTILITY INTERVENTION UNIT WITH THE CONSUM- ER PROTECTION DIVISION ESTABLISHED IN SECTION NINETY-FOUR-A OF THE EXEC- UTIVE LAW, AN ADDITIONAL PERSON TO SERVE ON THE BOARD. The presiding officer of the federally designated electric bulk system operator (BSO) shall serve as a non-voting member of the board. Any decision or action by the board shall be by majority vote. The president of the New York state energy research and development authority shall serve as chair of the board. Members of the board may designate an executive staff repre- sentative to participate on the board on their behalf. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10593-01-3