Today, Assemblyman Kevin Cahill, Chair of the Assembly Energy Committee, announced legislation continuing the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit Programs through May 15, 2010 and setting the stage for a permanent solution. The law authorizing the programs is currently set to expire on June 30, 2009.
"First and foremost, this legislation gives the businesses participating in these programs the assurance that their benefits will continue through next year," said Assemblymember Cahill. "This bill also jumpstarts the process of creating a long term low-cost power program that will give businesses the certainty they need to make the serious investments to create the jobs we need here in New York. Simply extending these programs on a year-to-year basis is not enough to encourage economic development in our state. This legislation will assure that we have the tools we need to forge a viable, attractive long term program."
Chairman Cahill said that before the Legislature reconvenes for 2010 session, the Energy Committee will hold hearings across New York to develop a long term economic development power program. The hearings will examine all issues related to the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit Programs, as well the incentives linked to the New York Power Authority's St. Lawrence - FDR and Niagara hydro-projects.
Key provisions of the legislation include:
Extends the Power for Jobs and Energy Cost Savings Benefit Programs through May 15, 2010;
Requires the New York Power Authority to report on resources used to administer current programs and those available for future programs by September 30, 2009;
Requires a Department of Economic Development review of the performance of all beneficiaries of the current programs by September 30, 2009;
Orders energy audits to be conducted on all current participants, including an assessment of their ability to become generators; and
Creates a pay-for-performance contacting fund that will enable the New York Power Authority to finance energy efficiency improvements identified by the audits.
"By ordering energy audits for all participants and requiring the Power Authority to provide the Legislature with the information necessary to assess the existing programs and available resources, this legislation will give us the tools needed to create an effective and efficient low-cost power program," said Assemblymember Cahill. "Extending the program through May will reinforce the need to have a plan in place before the usual end of session rush next year."
"I look forward to working with Governor and the Senate, first on expeditiously passing this legislation and then on creating a long term economic development power program well before the extension expires," said Assemblymember Cahill.