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Energy Committee Update
March 19, 2010

Staff Contact: Ken Pokalsky

Local GRT Increase

If you have not already done so, we urge you to weigh in on an Executive Budget proposal to allow cities and villages to increase their local gross receipts taxes on energy and telecommunications utilities from one to three percent, a potential increase of up to $140 million per year. This proposal is included in S.6606/A.9706, Part HH; our memo in opposition is available here.

Power for Jobs Update

Two legislative proposals to create a long term replacement for Power for Jobs and Economic Development Power have been introduced. In addition, we are anticipating both the Administration and Senate Energy Chair George Maziarz to submit proposals in the very near future. Proposals to date include:

Bill text is available here. A more detailed review of these proposals is available here. We will provide updates to committee members as additional proposals are introduced.

Wholesale Power Prices

The New York Independent System Operator (ISO) has release data showing that average wholesale electric prices in 2009 were $48.63 per megawatt-hour (MWh) a ten year low. The 2009 average was below the previous low of $49.90 per MWh set in 2002 and 49 percent below the 2008 average of $95.31 per MWh. The attributed the 2009 wholesale price drops to reduced power consumption and reductions in the cost of natural gas, adding that by their estimates, fuel-adjusted wholesale power prices (both energy and capacity) in New York has declined by 18 percent since 2000.

PPI Report on Energy Taxes

The Council’s Public Policy Institute has issued a  study showing that state and local government taxes make up more than a quarter of New York electric bills. Our summary, and the complete report, are available here. New York’s power industry paid an estimated $6.367 billion in state and local taxes, assessments and fees in 2009. The figure is $853 million higher than the total the industry paid in 2008, an increase of more than 15%.