Prepare Testimony for Public Hearings on the LIPA Commission Process
The Legislative Commission on the Future of LIPA was established in 2022 to develop a plan to make LIPA fully responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Long Island electric grid (its transmission and distribution network).
The Commission has prepared a Draft Report for the public to review. It offers options on how LIPA Board members are chosen; how to make the utility more transparent, accountable, and reliable with more public involvement; how LIPA should be regulated by outside entities; how to best meet our renewable energy goals; how to address issues of environmental justice in our communities, and other relevant issues needed to establish a fully public power model for LIPA.
They need our input on the new LIPA. This is the final public hearing period to comment on the Draft Report. There will be both a written public comment period and in-person hearings on the establishment of public power in the LIPA service area of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and the Rockaways. The dates for the hearings have been postponed due to the ongoing budget negotiations.
Please let Reimagine LIPA know if you can participate by filling out this form.
Here is our Draft Report Summary:
- Converting LIPA to a fully public power model would result in an overall positive benefit for LIPA customers, with important financial benefits including lower rates, more accountability, and greater local control.
- All the major challenges of converting LIPA to a fully public model are doable, but special legislation and amendments to the original LIPA Act will be required to make it happen.
- It seems to favor an appointed board but offers many different models from other parts of the country. It is left open how any newly appointed board will be selected.
- Converting LIPA to a fully public model clearly leads to savings. The exact estimate varies from $48 million to $78 million annually.
- On the issue of oversight, it notes the limitations of the Department of Public Service-Long Island (DPS-LI) and briefly mentions the possibility of a new Energy Observatory but does not offer a clear path forward. (See our Reimagine LIPA proposal under the heading "Energy Observatory" for more details.)
- It states that any increase in the powers of DPS-LI is to be avoided because it would increase LIPA's cost of borrowing and could lead to higher rates.
- It suggests keeping the current structure of triggering a rate review by the state Department of Public Service when LIPA's proposed rates increase by more than 2.5%.
- LIPA's current debt will not be impacted as a result of the transition, nor taxes and payments in lieu of taxes.
- Going fully public will allow LIPA to better and more fairly manage the transition to 100% renewable energy in order to meet NY's climate mandates under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.
- Going fully public will better position LIPA to meet the needs of Disadvantaged Communities more directly..
- About 1,500 PSEG employees under IBEW Local 1049, employed in a subsidiary known as ServCo, can be transitioned to LIPA without shifting them to state employees, as is their preference.
How to Provide Verbal Testimony
There are opportunities for community members to provide verbal testimony in-person. Individuals will have 3-5 minutes to provide their remarks. Members of the Commission may ask you questions afterwards. You can use our sample verbal testimony. The schedule can be found on the LIPA Commission website.
How to Provide Written Comments
Written comments can be submitted on the LIPA Commission website. You will need to create a log-in with basic information. The page then gives you the option to upload a document or simply paste your comment into a form. Creating a log-in will also allow you to get email updates about the process. You can use our sample written comment or talking points for support.
Full details are available in our Guide to the Final Round of LIPA Commission Public Hearings, which is updated as more details emerge.
For more background on why a revamped LIPA is needed, see the History of the Long Island Electric System.
You can view our two-pager for further information on the process.