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August 15, 2002

Council wins extension of state's successful Power for Jobs program

Governor George Pataki has signed into law an extension of the state's successful Power for Jobs program. The extension was a top legislative priority of The Business Council.

The legislation will make available 183 megawatts of electricity in a new "Phase Five" of the program. It will enable employers with Power for Jobs contracts that expire in 2002 and 2003 to apply for new allocations. Any remaining power may be allocated to new applicants.

Allocations under the new phase are authorized through December 31, 2005.

Created in 1997 with strong Business Council support, the program offers reduced-rate power to employers that promise to use it to retain existing jobs or create new ones. Savings are typically 10 to 25 percent, the Governor's news release said.

New York originally earmarked 400 megawatts of reduced-rate power over three years. In 1998, the first program year, all 133 megawatts of power to be allocated were committed in the first five months of the program.

Lawmakers then accelerated the third-year allocation and committed more power. Last year, they voted to extend the program by three years for employers that got power contracts in the first year of the program.

The New York Power Authority, which administers the program, periodically reviews employment levels to determine if job commitments are being met. To date, Power for Jobs customers have achieved an overall average of about 105 percent of their total job commitments, the Governor's release noted.

More than 700 employers now receive reduced-rate power under the program. The program is linked with about 300,000 jobs at hundreds of businesses and not-for-profit organizations throughout New York State, the Governor's release said.

"The low-cost power provided by the program is an effective way to help New York enterprises keep and create jobs in the Empire State," he said.