Updates from the Committee on Energy

Recharge New York to Make Power For Jobs More Efficient, Effective and Accountable
Recharge New York encourages job creation, energy efficiency and capital investment by New York businesses
April 14, 2011

Albany – Assembly Energy Committee Chair Kevin Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) highlighted the creation of the Recharge New York Program, a groundbreaking approach designed to help businesses meet their energy needs in the most efficient manner possible. The new permanent program, included in the budget passed over two weeks ago, will replace the ineffective Power For Jobs program offering 910 megawatts of low cost economic development power to responsible businesses across the state in return for enforceable commitments for job creation targets, capital investments and energy efficiency improvements.

"High energy costs will no longer stand in the way of businesses investing in New York," said Assemblymember Cahill. "The Recharge New York Program will help meet the energy needs of employers while providing New Yorkers with the assurance that their resources are being effectively utilized. It reboots an inefficient program and creates a new playing field that will allow employers from all corners of the state to compete on an equal level.”

“Today’s ‘bill signing’ represents the culmination of more than two years of work spanning both the Paterson and Cuomo administrations,” said Assemblymember Cahill. “The new program includes two essential reforms first advanced by the Assembly. The plan will now be permanent and will ensure that businesses receiving power from the state use that energy in the most efficient manner possible.”

Recharge New York is a sustainable and predictable energy program for businesses and not-for-profits. It is designed to protect and create jobs and encourage new capital investment by New York businesses. The legislation significantly reforms the long languishing Power for Jobs program that failed to promote energy efficiency and has not extended benefits to new businesses in recent years. Power for Jobs was scheduled to expire on May 15, 2011. Recharge New York will be available statewide and will require recipients to become more energy efficient in exchange for an award under the program.

The new plan will, for the first time, be backed by hydro power resources generated by the New York Power Authority. The power, currently set aside for the over two million residential customers of three upstate utilities, will now go to businesses throughout the state. Residential customers will instead receive a monthly bill credit to offset some of the potential increases in electric bills. They will also have the opportunity to permanently lower their energy costs by participating in a new energy efficiency program created exclusively for households that had been receiving the hydro power, a provision successfully negotiated by the Assembly.

“Recharge New York will provide a much needed boost to our economy but not at the expense of upstate households,” said Assemblyman Cahill. “I worked hard to protect upstate residents by insisting on a fair compensation plan and the opportunity to actually lower bills with energy efficiency.”