Galef Calls on New York State Public Service Commission to Adopt Real-Time Energy Pricing to Allow Consumers to Save on Home Energy Costs

September 8, 2005

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, 90th A.D., has long been a proponent of time-of-day energy rates – a billing system that charges the consumer differing prices based upon the times of day the energy is used. However, with the advent of Real-Time Pricing programs, Galef is promoting this new form of energy billing and requesting that the Public Service Commission adopt this important tool to help cut back on energy use and cost to consumers.

Real-Time Pricing means that consumers pay for their energy based on the cost of energy at that moment. A smart-meter located inside the house displays how much energy is being used, and how much is being paid for that usage.

With the winter season arriving soon, Galef feels that it is time to consider new energy plans. "Last year, especially in the winter months, we heard from so many residents about the high costs of oil, gas, and electricity for heating homes," she said. "No doubt many measures will be taken to provide programs for those in most need of assistance with home heating. But I believe that we must go even further, in an effort to assist all customers."

Galef believes that the hands-on and approachable Real-Time Pricing method is the solution. "Consumers having minute by minute knowledge of how much energy is being consumed and at what cost is the best tool we can provide to promote energy conservation and to respond to the ever-growing energy costs for our residents," the Assemblywoman said.

"The concept of Real-Time Pricing is consistent with the choices we offer in other areas," Galef said. "In telephone service, we have peak and off-peak pricing. We allow Metro North Railroad riders different pricing for peak, off-peak, and weekend rides." These are logical comparisons to show the sensibleness of Real-Time Pricing.

Galef believes Real-Time Pricing will encourage energy conservation, and in doing so will help "deal with the impending need for more energy producing facilities," a prospect that appeals to no one.

To best achieve these goals, Galef has asked for the assistance of the New York State Public Service Commission. "I am a strong supporter of the PSC taking a position as soon as possible in support of Real-Time Pricing," she said. "If the PSC follows through with Real-Time Pricing, we can expect significant and beneficial changes to New York State’s energy situation."