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North Country Electricity Stimulus Plan to Aid Local Businesses: New York Power Authority to Provide up to $10 Million to Lower Industrial and Commercial Energy Costs

Christine Pritchard

May 20, 2009


WHITE PLAINS—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel today announced the Temporary North Country Electricity Stimulus Plan that will inject critical financial support into northern New York during this time of economic crisis.

This program, in fulfillment of a commitment made by President Kessel just last month, will provide support for struggling commercial and industrial companies, in the counties of Jefferson, St. Lawrence and Franklin where the Authority’s Preservation Power is sold, by lowering their power bills.

“In advancement of a commitment I made to the North Country just a few weeks ago, the Power Authority is providing this immediate, short-term injection of financial aid to businesses in the region to support the overall economy by the lowering energy costs of some of the most critical private-sector employers during this fiscal crisis,” said Kessel.

Through the Temporary North Country Electricity Stimulus Plan, NYPA is making available up to $10 million which will be used to lower the electricity bills of businesses for up to one year. It is estimated that as many as 7,500 industrial and commercial businesses could experience a discount by as much as 1.5˘ per kilowatt, saving them an estimated average of $1,200 over a 12 month period.  The largest industrial companies could realize a savings as large as $100,000 - $250,000 over the one year period.

The program, approved on Tuesday by NYPA’s Board of Trustees, will be provided through NYPA revenues generated by power sold into the electric grid that had been previously sold to businesses, but which is not being used by these businesses at this time.  This power is available, in large part, due to curtailed production by manufacturing companies as a result of the state and region’s economic decline.

NYPA will partner with National Grid and New York State Electricity and Gas Corporation (NYSEG), the retail utilities that distribute power to North Country businesses to identify commercial and industrial customers for discounts on their power bills.  The utilities will seek the approval of the Public Service Commission for the billing provisions to accommodate this program. It is anticipated that the Temporary North Country Electricity Stimulus Program could be providing electricity discounts as soon as late this summer.

Eugene L. Nicandri, NYPA trustee and Massena resident, said: “The North Country stimulus plan will capitalize on underutilized St. Lawrence-FDR hydropower for a period of time to lower the electricity costs of a wide range of businesses in the region.  Given the value of this power on the wholesale marketplace, we decided to use the additional anticipated revenues from the sale of the power to provide discounts to area businesses.  In doing so, we hope to kick-start the local economy and help the region during this difficult time when businesses are dealing with reduced demand and struggling to lower their costs.”  

Senator Darrel J. Aubertine, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications, said:  “Low-cost power is an important incentive we can provide businesses to help stimulate growth and create jobs. This commitment from NYPA of $10 million in low-cost power in Northern New York for commercial and industrial customers will protect and create jobs to help our economy grow. I want to thank President Kessel and the NYPA Board of Trustees for moving forward with this program. The Power Authority has shown a willingness to work with lawmakers and I look forward to continuing to work with NYPA on this and other programs to provide longer term solutions.”

State Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava said:  “I am encouraged by NYPA’s decision to make available $10 million in funding to assist commercial and industrial businesses in the North Country.  It’s no secret these establishments are struggling amidst this tough economic climate, and anytime we have an opportunity to assist these job-providing entities, we have an obligation to do so. I applaud NYPA’s decision to recognize the need for this funding assistance and I am confident that it will greatly benefit the many businesses of the North Country.”

Assemblywoman Janet L. Duprey said:  “I applaud NYPA for providing temporary relief on utility bills for businesses.  As business owners struggle to keep their doors open and employees working, this support for the next year should provide some assistance to them.”

  About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.   For more information,

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