Monthly Archives: June 2009

NYISO Needs State "Visitation"

We have observed from time to time that New York State, and in particular, the Public Service Commission, should exercise some oversight power over the NYISO, a New York not for profit organization operating as a wholesale electric utility, even though the rates set in its spot markets are under federal jurisdiction. See, e.g., FERC, Read more…

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NY Rolls out 511 Service with Travel and Transit Data; Not All Phones Can Access the Service

With a Press Release on June 19th, Governor David Paterson announced the launch of 511 service throughout New York State . According to the announcement, 511 is a “free and comprehensive service” which provides near real-time “information about traffic incidents, roadway conditions, congestion, work zones, weather, and planned events” and is designed to benefit commuters, Read more…

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Stimulus Funds for New York Can Be Used for Utility Assistance to Prevent Homelessness

HUD recently announced that it has allocated new economic stimulus funds to New York for prevention of homelessness, including assistance to individuals in paying utility bills when that is related to current or potential homelessness. According to the Notice regarding the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program: The funds under this program are intended to Read more…

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PSC Signals Shift in Landlord Subsidies to Implement Submetering

BackgroundPressure from tenants led the PSC in 1950 to ban residential submetering, see Resale of Power in City Is Curbed. It was reintroduced in 1978 for cooperatives and condominiums whose owners request submetering, and was expanded to rental housing in 1979. Little submetering of rental housing occurred until the Pataki administration years, when conversion to Read more…

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FERC’s Advice: Avoid Our Deregulated ISO/RTO Spot Markets

We have previously noted FERC’s refusal to scrutinize the rates set in the dysfunctional spot markets it fostered and approved for wholesale electricity trading. See No Evil: FERC Refuses to Examine Gaming of RTO/ISO Electricity Spot Markets. FERC again has rebuffed another plea to take a closer look. Senator Barbara Mikulski of Maryland recently asked Read more…

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AARP Opposes PEPCO Plan for Spending on "Smart Meters"

Spending billions on “smart meters” seems to be really in vogue in states where utilities sold their power plants, failed to make money in their Enron-like holding companies, and now have no safe place to sink investment for a regulated return. See Not so Smart? High Tech Metering May Harm Low Income Electricity Customers. Recently Read more…

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PSC’s Market Ideology Clashes with Goals of Affordable Universal Broadband Service

Last week, PULP reported on the comments filed at the FCC regarding the development of a national universal broadband policy. See PSC to FCC: We Oppose Measures to Effectuate Universal Affordable Broadband Service. The New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”), in conjunction with the state’s Chief Information Officer, submitted comments which in essence argue Read more…

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ESCO Advertises 9.75% Tax Savings on Delivery Service

We commented previously on the odd tax break given to ESCO customers which reduces the cost of delivery service still provided by the utility, enabling the ESCO actually to charge more for the part of the service it provides, i.e., the “commodity” portion of gas or electric service, and still show total bill “savings” to Read more…

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