Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Assemblymember Patricia Fahy and Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee Chair Jim Brennan announced the passage of legislation (A.6912-C, Fahy) to empower municipalities to attain ownership of streetlights within their borders and to upgrade to energy and cost-efficient LED lighting technology that are estimated to save up to $100 million annually.
"This bill is a great opportunity for local governments across the state who have faced difficulties in seeking ownership of their street lights," said Heastie. "Thanks to this legislation, they can now engage in meaningful efforts to purchase these streetlights from their utility company and take control over their energy costs."
According to a recent report by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), approximately 75 percent of streetlights across the state are utility owned, leaving local governments powerless to pursue more modern and efficient energy options. Under the bill, municipalities would be authorized to apply to the Public Service Commission to facilitate a transfer of ownership of the utility-owned streetlights, upon a certification of the financial impact of such transfer and submission of the municipality's plans to upgrade the streetlight system.
"I am very proud of this legislation and the difference it will make for so many municipalities that are struggling to find ways to save money while preserving critical services for taxpayers," said Fahy. "By creating a meaningful and efficient path to streetlight ownership, this bill will enable localities across the state to invest in energy efficient upgrades that benefit our environment while saving millions for taxpayers."
"The passage of this legislation is a strong step forward in New York's efforts to bring cost savings to rate payers," said Brennan. "LED lighting is proven to be a greener, lower cost alternative and I commend Assemblymember Fahy for her commitment to providing local governments with the tools they need to keep their spending down while ensuring necessary services for New Yorkers."
This measure was also passed by the Senate and will be delivered to the Governor for consideration.