ALBANY, NY – Consumer Energy Alliance, the leading consumer energy advocate, submitted comments to the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) on a petition filed by a group of energy users seeking temporary rate relief as consumers struggle with financial hardships from COVID-19.
CEA’s New York Executive Director Wendy Hijos said:
“Due to the widespread nature of COVID-19, we are seeing unprecedented impacts to all facets of the energy and electricity delivery, generation, transmission, distribution and supply chain. CEA’s members, manufacturing companies, utilities, small businesses and community groups are stepping up to provide financial donations, production and disbursement of personal protective equipment, food deliveries, life-saving cleaning and hygiene products. They are also suspending service shut-offs and working with families, seniors and customers who have been hit hard by this global pandemic.”
“We are thankful for their efforts and for faithfully providing essential energy and services to keep hospitals, healthcare providers, first responders, grocery stores and our homes powered, fueled and online. Energy workers are putting their communities’ needs above their own and risking their health to keep our economy moving. CEA salutes their dedication and the incredible work our frontline workers are performing for the benefit of our public health and nation.”
“Over 1.6 million people in New York have filed for unemployment and businesses across the state continue to lay off or furlough employees to try and stay afloat. More than $1.15 billion in unspent or uncommitted funds, collected from consumers and customers, are available and have never been used for New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) projects or programs.”
“We encourage the Commission to consider rate relief and temporarily suspending collection for mandates and programs that are not critical to maintaining grid reliability, service and other mission-essential activities. Putting more than $1 billion back in the hands of small businesses, households, seniors, and manufacturers could make a significant difference in these uncertain times – especially since it would not impact existing projects or activities underway at NYSERDA.”
CEA also encouraged the NY PSC to create a working group that brings all interested parties together to address the complex variables in play and to explore potential ways to provide rate relief for customers, and temporary regulatory relief for utilities. Some of these programs, which are government-mandated and are collected via utility bills, can put a strain on family and business budgets – especially in the middle of a crisis.
“CEA stands ready to be a constructive partner to help create solutions as New Yorkers recover and get back on their feet,” Hijos said.
About Consumer Energy Alliance
Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading consumer advocate for energy, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers and manufacturers to support America’s environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households and businesses across the country. CEA works daily to encourage people across the nation to seek sensible, realistic and environmentally responsible solutions to meeting our energy needs. Learn more at ConsumerEnergyAlliance.org.