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A09298 Summary:

BILL NOA09298
 
SAME ASSAME AS S05819-A
 
SPONSORDinowitz
 
COSPNSRGottfried, Colton, Blake, Miller, Simon, Robinson, Hooper, Seawright
 
MLTSPNSRCook, Davila, Magee
 
Amd 65, add 66-o, Pub Serv L
 
Relates to the establishment of reduced residential rates for electric and natural gas service to low-income customers.
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A09298 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          9298
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                    February 16, 2016
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  DINOWITZ,  GOTTFRIED, COLTON, BLAKE, MILLER,
          SIMON, ROBINSON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. COOK, DAVILA,  MAGEE
          -- read once and referred to the Committee on Energy
 
        AN ACT to amend the public service law, in relation to the establishment
          of  reduced  residential rates for electric and natural gas service to
          low-income customers

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. Section 65 of the public service law is amended by adding a
     2  new subdivision 16 to read as follows:
     3    16.  Reduced residential rates for electric and natural gas service to
     4  low-income customers. (a) Electric and gas corporations shall  establish
     5  and  continue reduced rate schedules for low-income electric and natural
     6  gas customers. The average effective rate reduction shall  not  be  less
     7  than  twenty-five percent or more than thirty-five percent of the reven-
     8  ues that would have been produced for the same  billed  usage  by  other
     9  residential  customers  receiving  full service from the utility who are
    10  not eligible for the reduced rate.
    11    (b) Reduced residential rates for electric  and  natural  gas  service
    12  shall  be  established  for  any customer who receives benefits from the
    13  supplemental security income program for the aged or disabled  or  other
    14  persons,  the temporary assistance to needy families program, safety net
    15  assistance,  the  supplemental  nutrition  assistance  program,  medical
    16  assistance,  the  home energy assistance program, the telephone lifeline
    17  assistance program, and  any  other  additional  assistance  program  or
    18  income standard approved by the commission.
    19    (c) Providers of electric and natural gas service shall cooperate with
    20  the  commission  and  social  services  districts  and other agencies to
    21  certify and recertify customer  eligibility  through  privacy  protected
    22  data  exchanges  approved by the commission to achieve efficient enroll-
    23  ment of eligible customers.
    24    (d) Providers of electric and natural  gas  service  shall  strive  to
    25  provide  reduced  residential  rates to all customers eligible for them,
    26  and shall provide application forms for reduced rates to  eligible  low-
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD11486-04-6

        A. 9298                             2
 
     1  income  customers  on  their  websites,  at  their offices, and by other
     2  means.  Information regarding the availability and eligibility standards
     3  for reduced rates shall be provided to residential customers at the time
     4  of  service  initiation, in bill inserts, in communications to customers
     5  in arrears, and by other means required or approved by the commission.
     6    (e) The incremental revenue effects of enhancement to low-income  rate
     7  programs under this section shall be deferred for subsequent rate making
     8  treatment  and  approval  by  the commission. The revenue impact of such
     9  rate reduction shall be mitigated by (i) applying any  earnings  of  the
    10  utility  above  the allowed return on equity set in the most recent rate
    11  case, (ii) disallowing any premium above the rate of return allowed  for
    12  not  filing  a rate case or for sharing of overearnings, (iii) utilizing
    13  any uncommitted funds available from current surcharges allowed  by  the
    14  commission  and  not  expressly  authorized by statute, (iv) disallowing
    15  recovery from ratepayers of any costs of executive compensation bonuses.
    16  After such mitigation measures, and other mitigation measures which  the
    17  commission  may  approve,  any  shift of revenue responsibility to other
    18  customers due to the revenue effects of low-income rates  shall  not  be
    19  borne solely by any single class of customer.
    20    § 2. The public service law is amended by adding a new section 66-o to
    21  read as follows:
    22    § 66-o. Reduced residential rates for electric and natural gas service
    23  to  low-income  customers.  1. The commission shall require electric and
    24  natural gas corporations to establish  and  continue  programs  of  rate
    25  reduction  and  other  assistance to low-income residential electric and
    26  natural gas customers, the revenue impact of which shall  not  be  borne
    27  solely  by  any  single  class  of customer. The commission shall ensure
    28  appropriate levels of rate reduction for low-income electric and natural
    29  gas customers to mitigate hardship, which shall not be less  than  twen-
    30  ty-five  percent  or  more than thirty-five percent of the revenues that
    31  would have been produced for the same billed usage by other  residential
    32  customers  receiving  full service from the utility who are not eligible
    33  for  the  reduced  rate.  In  establishing  the  appropriate  percentage
    34  reduction  the  commission shall ensure to the extent feasible that low-
    35  income ratepayers are not jeopardized or overburdened by rates for elec-
    36  tric and natural gas service.
    37    2. The commission shall  establish  customer  income  and  categorical
    38  eligibility  standards  for  reduced rates, which shall include, without
    39  limitation, any customers who receive  benefits  from  the  supplemental
    40  security  income  program for the aged or disabled or other persons, the
    41  temporary assistance to needy families program, safety  net  assistance,
    42  the  supplemental  nutrition assistance program, medical assistance, the
    43  home energy assistance program, and the  telephone  lifeline  assistance
    44  program.
    45    3.  The  commission shall promote full penetration of the reduced rate
    46  assistance to all eligible  customers  through  privacy  protected  data
    47  exchanges  with  agencies providing assistance to categorically eligible
    48  customers to achieve efficient enrollment, certification,  and  periodic
    49  recertification of eligibility.
    50    4.  The commission shall require providers of electric and natural gas
    51  service to provide information and application forms for  reduced  rates
    52  to  eligible  low-income  customers on their websites, at their offices,
    53  and by other means, and to provide information regarding the availabili-
    54  ty and eligibility standards for reduced rates to residential  customers
    55  at  the  time  of service initiation, in bill inserts, in communications

        A. 9298                             3
 
     1  with customers in arrears, and by other means required  or  approved  by
     2  the commission.
     3    5.  The commission shall require electric and natural gas corporations
     4  to establish reduced rates pursuant to this section to be  effective  no
     5  later  than  January first, two thousand seventeen, and to file periodic
     6  reports at least annually regarding the  number  of  eligible  customers
     7  receiving  reduced rates, utility efforts to provide reduced residential
     8  rates to all customers eligible for them, and other  information  deemed
     9  necessary  or  appropriate  by the commission for the efficient adminis-
    10  tration of the reduced rates.
    11    6. The commission shall require that the incremental  revenue  effects
    12  of  enhancement  to  low-income  rate  programs  under  this  section be
    13  deferred for subsequent rate making treatment. The  incremental  revenue
    14  impact of such rate reductions shall be mitigated by:
    15    (a)  applying  any earnings of the utility above the allowed return on
    16  equity set in the most recent rate case, pursuant to subdivision  twenty
    17  of section sixty-six of this article;
    18    (b)  disallowing any rate of return premium for not filing a rate case
    19  or for sharing of overearnings after rates are set;
    20    (c) utilizing any uncommitted revenues from surcharges allowed by  the
    21  commission but not expressly authorized by statute; and
    22    (d) disallowing executive compensation or bonuses not essential to the
    23  provision of safe and adequate service.
    24    After  applying revenues from such sources, and other mitigation meas-
    25  ures which the commission may approve, any shift of revenue responsibil-
    26  ity to other customers due to the revenue effects  of  low-income  rates
    27  shall not be borne solely by any single class of customer.
    28    §  3.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
    29  have become a law.
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