On November 17, 2023 the New York State Legislative Commission on the Future of the Long Island Power Authority voted to approve its Final Report for submission to the legislature detailing its action plan for implementing a true public power model for residents of Long Island and the Rockaways. A true public power model means LIPA would directly provide electric service to the more than three million residents and thousands of businesses in its service area without contracting out that responsibility to a private, for-profit utility. It is the end of the public-private partnership model that has failed LIPA ratepayers.
Allowing LIPA to run its electric grid saves the $78M annual fee to a private for-profit utility that pays the salaries of 19 PSEG Long Island managers. The plan is projected to save ratepayers at least half a billion dollars over ten years, improve efficiency and accountability, and increase local control and community input. It also protects the wages, benefits, retirement security, private-sector employee status, and collective bargaining rights of the workers who restore and keep our electricity on.
Key features include: a 13-member paid Board of Trustees appointed with local input, a new 26-member compensated Community Stakeholder Board to provide community engagement, the continuation of existing oversight authority of the Department of Public Service, and the transference of ownership from PSEG LI to LIPA of ServCo LLC, the entity which employs the electrical workers.
The legislation necessary to set up the Commission’s plan is included in the Final Report appendix and will be formally introduced by the Commission’s co-chairs in their respective houses at the start of the legislative session in January 2024. It is the hope and expectation it will be passed by both houses and signed by the governor in 2024.
Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele, Jr., Commission Co-Chair said “...The Commission’s report returns to the original vision of public power when LIPA was created by the Legislature in 1986.”
Read the full press release here.