A09753 Summary:

Rpld 66 sub 12-b (b), 66-d, Pub Serv L
Repeals the authority for sales of electricity and gas by entities (ESCOs) other than electric or natural gas distribution companies.
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A09753 Actions:

04/05/2016referred to corporations, authorities and commissions
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A09753 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Dinowitz
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to repeal certain provisions of the public service law relating to authorization for retail wheeling or delivery of natural gas not purchased from the electric or gas corporation delivering it   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: Prohibits the sale of electricity or natural gas by entities other than utility corporations which deliver it by repealing sections of law authorizing the public service commission to approve retail wheeling of electricity and delivery of natural gas purchased from entities other than the utility delivering the commodity.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Sections 1 and 2 of the bill repeal public service law sections 66-12b(b) and 66-d relating to authorization of retail wheeling of elec- tricity and contract carriage of natural gas purchased from sources other than the delivering utility. Section 3 provides for a 90 day effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: In the physical world it is impossible to separate electricity or natural gas sales from the wires or mains of the utility that actually provides the service. For nearly twenty years the public service commis- sion has at great expense promoted the separate sale of electricity and natural gas by entities other than the utility corporations actually providing the services, through financial contracts with "energy services companies." Despite state and in some areas local sales tax preferences, the commission's effort to unbundle and separate the retail sale of commodity gas or electricity did not succeed in lowering prices. Rather, the introduction of new middlemen selling utility services increased transaction costs not outweighed by any gain in economic effi- ciency, and generally increased costs for end users. The advent of poorly supervised new entities selling natural gas and electricity led to predatory, high pressure telephone and door-to door sales tactics, "slamming", excessive charges, and other abuse of custom- ers, many of whom are vulnerable, elderly, and low-income. Despite large numbers of complaints to utilities, elected officials and the public service commission, the commission is unable to assure the provision of service by the alternative providers on terms that are just and reasonable, and on better economic terms for customers than tradi- tional full service from the distribution utility companies. The commis- sion's emphasis upon individual customer "shopping" for solutions to New York's high prices for utility services diverted customer attention and awareness from increased efficiency and conservation, and commission promotion of unbundled services diverted commission resources from more vigorous regulation of rates, charges, and services of the utilities.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: State sales tax revenues would increase by $118 million, due to the effective end of a sales tax exemption of utility delivery service to customers who have switched to an energy services company for commodity purchases. See Division of Budget 2016-17 Report on Tax Expenditures, p. 106.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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