|SAME AS||SAME AS S05819-A|
|COSPNSR||Gottfried, Colton, Blake, Miller, Simon, Robinson, Hooper, Seawright|
|MLTSPNSR||Cook, 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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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. LBD11486-04-6A. 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 communicationsA. 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.