June 16, 2009

Assembly Approves Extension Of Power For Jobs Program To Help Businesses Meet Their Energy Needs

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Energy Committee Chair Kevin Cahill today announced the passage of legislation (A.8825-A) to extend New York's Power For Jobs Energy incentive program through May 15, 2010. Current authorization for the program, which has been in place since 1997, is set to expire at the end of the month.

The Power For Jobs program has provided hundreds of millions of dollars worth of discounted electricity or energy rebates to businesses and non-profit organizations that pledge to produce and sustain jobs within New York. Much of the energy provided for Power For Jobs participants comes from hydroelectric power produced in New York.

The legislation would require that all Power For Jobs recipients go through a detailed New York Power Authority-funded energy audit to assess the performance of the program in providing low-cost energy to qualifying businesses. Companies that have been audited within the last two years may be exempted from the review.

"Businesses participating in Power For Jobs need the confidence that the energy benefits they receive will continue for their commitment to job creation," said Silver (D-Manhattan). "This legislation will extend the program and allow us the time to agree upon a permanent or multi-year solution. Additionally, it would require performance reports on the effectiveness of Power For Jobs which will help us make any necessary changes to the program in order to attract and retain jobs in New York."

"These programs need reform, just extending them for another year, as we have done the past two years now, is not the answer," said Cahill (D-Kingston). "We must begin serious discussions about a real solution, one that will encourage new development in New York. This legislation will assure that we have the tools to have that discussion and to forge a viable, attractive long term program."

The bill would also provide for expedited renewal of program benefits and expand the Economic Development Power Allocation Board to include additional appointments from the Assembly and Senate.