Utility Democracy Act
The NY Utility Democracy Act will:
- Initiate the process for transitioning all of New York State’s distribution utilities into public ownership within two years.
- New York State will, through either purchase or eminent domain, acquire all assets of all energy and gas utilities across the state.
- Set a timeline for scaling down all gas infrastructure across the State while equally setting a timeline for scaling up renewable infrastructure to meet this new demand.
- Initiate the process of drawing and creating new utility territories based on principles of environmental justice, equity, and energy democracy.
- Create democratically elected utility boards to oversee the operations of the distribution utilities.
- Create an observatory oversight body including environmental justice advocates, community based organizations, labor, good governance, environmental advocates, independent policy and engineering experts to provide oversight to the democratically elected boards ensuring they are fulfilling all aspects necessary for New York State to adhere to the CLCPA standards.
- By removing the profit motive, rates for all utility territories will go down, and new utility rates will become progressive “green” rates scaling up for increased energy usage for wealthier customers without overburdening low-income customers in energy inefficient buildings.
- Rate cases will be determined by the democratically elected board, and intervenor funds will be made available to environmental and ratepayer advocates.
- Eliminate incentive to build unnecessary infrastructure; incentivize maintenance and resiliency projects like undergrounding and microgrids by mandating public cost-benefit analyses of all spending proposals
- Prevailing Wage and Project Labor Agreements codified in all
- Ensure all newly created utilities coordinate with NYPA, NYSERDA, and ORES to manage New York’s energy infrastructure in the most efficient way for ratepayers, workers, safety, and service.
- Allow customers to opt out of smart meters; any smart meter data that’s collected will not be shared with law enforcement, ICE, or any private companies.
Learn more about the Utility Democracy Act here.
This information is provided by Public Power NY.