Energy Committee Update
January 24, 2014
Staff Contact: Darren Suarez
- Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed on Tuesday a $142.1 billion spending plan for the coming 2014-15 fiscal year, including federal aid for Superstorm Sandy recovery.
- The budget increases spending by 1.7 percent over the previous year. A surplus of $500 million is projected, marking the first time the state is in the black in recent memory. A $310 million surplus from 2013-14 is being put toward phased-in tax cuts that is expected to impact 2014-15 receipts.
- The spending plan increases education aid by 3.8 percent, or $807 million, to a total of $21.8 million. Spending on the state’s Medicaid program is expected to be $58.2 billion, an all-funds increase from $55.6 billion.
- The Executive Budget recommends $28.3 million for NYSERDA, a decrease of $24.9 million from 2013-14. This decrease reflects the discontinuation of a $25 million appropriation for the Cleaner, Greener Communities program that was included in the 2013-14 Budget. Funding for the Cleaner, Greener Communities program will be reauthorized in 2014-15 via a $25 million reappropriation.
- Major budget actions include $16.2 million in funding, the same level as 2013-14, for the Authority’s research, demonstration and development programs, which funds energy analysis and planning activities and a competitive research and development grant program.
18-a Elimination for Industrial Customers (TED Part S)
- In accordance with the recommendations of the New York State Tax relief Commission, Part S of the TED Article VII legislation, would reduce the Public Service Law § 18-a(6) Temporary State Energy and Utility Service Conservation Assessment (Temporary Assessment) by a total of $200 million per year by eliminating the assessment on industrial utility customers and accelerate the phase out for all other customers. Specifically, the bill would eliminate the assessment for electric customers with a monthly peak demand of one thousand kilowatts or more in the last preceding calendar year and gas customers of one hundred thousand dekatherms or more, and all customers of municipal electric and gas utilities and water works corporations.
Long Island Office of the Department of Public Service
- The proposed Executive budget appropriates $5.5 million in funding for a new Long Island Office of DPS (DPS LI). The budget authorizes the hiring of 39 new employees for the office, which will be empowered to review utility rates and operations including storm preparedness.
Reduction of Department of Public Service Administrative Burden (TED Part R)
- The Executive Budget proposes to streamline the process for overseeing telephone corporations, reviewing violations of the shared meter law, and confirming cable franchises. The streamlining initiatives are intended to remove administrative burdens of the DPS without having a reduction in oversight.
NYSERDA to Transfer $913,000 to the General Fund (TED Part L)
- Authorize a payment of up to $913,000 from the NYSERDA for West Valley nuclear.
Authorize NYSERDA to finance DEC Climate Change Office (TED Part K)
- Authorize the NYSERDA to finance the Department of Environmental Conservation’s climate change program, from an assessment on gas and electric corporations. This provision has been in the budget for multiple years.
AC Transmission Upgrades Meet with Localized Opposition
- Recently, organizations and municipalities opposed to the currently proposed expansion and upgrade of power lines in New York state have united to form a coalition to pool resources. The coalition is comprised of: Scenic Hudson, the town of Clinton, Clinton Concerned Citizens, Dutchess County, Dutchess Land Conservancy, Farmers and Families for Claverack, Farmers and Families for Livingston, the town of Milan, the Olana Partnership, Omega Institute, the Preservation League of New York State, the town of Pleasant Valley and Winnakee Land Trust.