Report: State energy plan is 'under-inclusive'
Aug 28, 2015 6:01 am
Scott Waldman is reporting at Politico New York more than half of low-income utility customers could be left out of financial assistance programs under a draft plan to rework New York’s energy grid, according to a new report. An initial proposal by the state Department of Public Service to include low-income customers in the "Reforming Energy Vision" plan relies too heavily upon the existing Home Energy Assistance Program, or HEAP, according to the report by the Department of State's Consumer Protection Unit. The problem, according to the report, is that HEAP reaches only a fraction of eligible low-income customers. The report says the DPS proposal is “under-inclusive" because it leaves out more than half of the state's low-income customers. The Cuomo administration’s REV initiative aims to reduce monthly bills by making the electrical grid more efficient. It seeks to increase energy efficiency and equip consumers with technology to lower their bills, including smart thermostats that turn down the heat when no one is home. A considerable number of the state's low-income residents are unable to pay their monthly utility bills. Last year, more than 1 million customers were at least 60 days late in paying their utility bill, owing almost $1 billion. About 250,000 customers had their power shut off for failure to pay a bill. New York's utility bills are among the highest in the nation. Read the full story at Politico New York.