Monthly Archives: March 2010

Fourth Department Finds Payment Agreement Signed Under Duress After Water Service was Shut Off Does Not Bar Suit to Recover Disputed Charges

On March 26, 2010, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, upheld a lower court’s award of damages to customers of the Erie County Water Authority in an action to recover excess water charges. The water authority argued that the customers could not sue because they agreed to pay the charges in installments under a written payment Read more…

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GAO Finds "Energy Star" Ratings Inadequately Audited

According to a GAO Report, the “Energy Star” labels placed on products as a way to signal they are “green” – and use less energy are not adequately audited. See Energy Star Program Audit Finds Fraud Vulnerability: Faked Products were Deemed Energy Savers, Matthew L. Wald, N.Y. Times, March 26, 2010. The report is only Read more…

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Grid/Keyspan Releases Low Income Gas Rate Discount Reports, but Not All News is Good

Earlier this month, National Grid released the first annual report for the low income discount program it created for KeySpan Energy Delivery New York (“KEDNY”) and KeySpan Energy Delivery Long Island (“KEDLI”). Both programs were initiated as part of the revised rates approved for the companies in a New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) Read more…

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Yonkers Riverview II Tenants Seek Rehearing of PSC Order Continuing Submetering of Electric Heat

On March 22, 2010, the Yonkers Riverview II Tenants Association filed a petition with the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) seeking rehearing of its February 18, 2010 Order on Reconsideration which denied a stay and allowed electric submetering to continue based on promises of the owner to provide thermostats for the electric baseboard Read more…

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Consistent and Persistent

In recent weeks, PULP has received telephone calls and e-mails from different utilities asking us to join them in opposing the Governor’s proposed increases to the Gross Receipts Tax (“GRT”) from one percent to three percent. Their reasoning is that PULP represents the interests of utility consumers, especially low income consumers, and any increases in Read more…

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Study Finds No Discernible Difference in Tenant Energy Usage When HUD Public Housing is Submetered

A 2007 research report funded by HUD, Benchmarking Utility Usage in Public Housing, concludes there is no discernible difference in energy use between public housing residents that pay for their own energy and those for whom energy is paid by the [Public Housing Authorities]. The report compared energy usage data from buildings with tenant-paid utilities Read more…

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New York PSC Supports California’s Request for Access to FCC’s Outage Reporting Data

In comments submitted to the FCC March 4th, the New York State Public Service Commission (“PSC”) expressed its support for the California Public Utilities Commission’s (“CPUC”) request for direct, password-protected access to the FCC’s Network Outage Reporting System (“NORS”) database. The PSC joined the CPUC in calling for the launch of a proceeding to implement Read more…

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Coalition Urges FERC to Examine Electricity Sellers’ Costs and Revenues in Wholesale Power Markets

On March 5, 2010, a broad coalition of groups, including PULP, filed comments with FERC urging closer assessment of the results of private wholesale markets. The functionally deregulated markets are run by private RTO utilities under FERC jurisdiction, such as the NYISO. FERC allows the RTOs to set prices for electricity using “market-based rates” demanded Read more…

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