Monthly Archives: March 2009

PULP Launches Lifeline Discount Telephone Service Comparison Chart

A chart which compares the major providers of Lifeline discount telephone service in New York is now available on the PULP website. The chart includes data we have assembled from websites of Verizon, Frontier/Citizens, Windstream Communications (formerly ALLTEL), Sprint PCS, and TracFone SafeLink. It compares the monthly cost of each provider’s service, how many minutes Read more…

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PSC Asked to Rehear Decision Retroactively Approving Four Years of Submetering without an Order Waiving the Prohibition against Resale of Electricity

We previously wrote about a case where a landlord sold electricity to its tenants for several years without seeking a PSC order waiving the general prohibition of residential submetering contained in PSC regulations and Con Edison tariffs. See White Plains Landlord Submetering Electricity Without PSC Approval. An elderly blind tenant represented by PULP objected to Read more…

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Wellinghoff Designated Chairman of FERC by President Obama

On March 19, President Obama announced the designation of Commissioner Jon Wellinghoff to be Chairman of FERC. For a brief period, since January, Commissioner Wellinghoff was Acting Chairman. President Obama also renominated Commissioner Suedeen Kelly for another five-year term. This brings to an end speculation that the direction of FERC might be significantly changed in Read more…

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Under HEFPA, the New York PSC Must Decide Complaints of Submetered Customers

After its 1979 order expanding the scope of submetering from cooperatives and condominiums to rental housing, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) over the years approved a variety of confusing complaint resolution procedures in its submetering orders, which waive the general ban on resale of electric service. The 1979 PSC order expanding submetering to Read more…

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PULP Submits More Evidence to PSC Showing that a New Area Code in 315 Region is Unnecessary

Following up on a Recommended Decision issued by Judge Howard Jack on November 26th recommending an additional overlay area code for the 315 region of upstate New York, PULP submitted a Brief on Exceptions in December outlining the reasons why area code “relief” is not necessary. We previously uncovered evidence that multiple 10,000 telephone number Read more…

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PULP Urges PSC to Require Submetering Landlords to Accept HEAP and Utility Assistance

The PSC is considering whether to relax its submetering regulations and “streamline” its procedures for allowing landlords to provide electric service to their tenants. Under current rules and tariffs, resale of residential electric service is prohibited without a specific PSC order. Among other things, the PSC is proposing to abolish all tariff prohibitions on submetering, Read more…

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Governor’s Proposed 2% PSC “Assessment” on Utility Bills Favors Some Energy and Telecom Service Providers

Back in December, PULP reported on Governor David Paterson’s budget proposal to increase the Public Service Law section 18-a assessments on utilities from one-third of one percent of intrastate revenues to one percent. In addition, the Governor proposed a “temporary state energy and utility service conservation assessment” of an additional one percent through Fiscal Year Read more…

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ESCOs Cost More — A Familiar Experience (New York’s Utility Project, March 16, 2009)

We have previously commented on the lack of transparency in the retail energy markets spawned by the PSC effort to deregulate the sale of natural gas and electricity. See PSC Makes ESCO Service Comparisons Difficult – How Can Customers Compare ESCO Prices? A recent guest editorial at the Empire Page illustrates the continuing frustration of Read more…

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