Pennies per consumer or Investing in the Power Grid ?

Date Posted: 
Tuesday, March 20, 2018

As the budget season enters into its final stretch in Albany, the Utility Labor Council has a few priorities that we are pushing legislators to support for the betterment of the utility workforce and the consumer. While we list a few pieces of legislation below, we would like to focus on one specific piece of unpractical legislation; S.7435/A.9044. This bill would study the effects of utilities passing their recent tax savings onto the ratepayer. In reality, this bill is symbolic and meant to just grab headlines and get some politicians face in the paper. These savings will result in just a few pennies off an individual ratepayer's bill. Instead, the Assembly and Senate should be looking into having these savings reinvested back into the utilities to strengthen the power infrastructure. This reinvestment is needed to strengthen our electrical grid to prevent long term power loss like the one that was recently seen in the Hudson Valley. On Long Island, PSEG invested capital in Line Clearing and Tree Trimming, this greatly reduced outages this past storm season. Without a long-term investment into our electrical grid, outages will become frequent and unavoidable while the pennies that a consumer received and the headlines that a politician received will be long forgotten. Our Senate and Assembly have the power to make this investment, by amending S.7435/A. 9044 or throwing this unnecessary bill out altogether.   The savings received by the utilities from the recent tax breaks would be better spent elsewhere.