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LIPA and PSEG LI Announce 2014 Operating and 2014-2015 Capital Budget

LongIsland.com

No rate Increase for 2nd straight year, as Authority transitions to new service provider with investments in customer service, reliability and storm hardening.

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Hauppauge, NY - November 14th, 2013 - The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) today released the 2014 Operating and 2014-2015 Capital budget that freezes non-fuel related rates for a second straight year.

The proposed budget freezes delivery rates for 2014 and is consistent with the goal articulated in the development of the LIPA Reform Act which includes the transition of PSEG to assume control of the Long Island electric grid beginning January 1, 2014. It also balances strong fiscal responsibility and cost controls and includes the objective of making investments and committing resources to effectuate service improvements, including emergency preparedness and enhanced responsiveness, increased customer satisfaction and strengthening of the electric grid. These goals have been largely achieved through a collaborative effort between LIPA, the federal government and New York State.

"LIPA is pleased that the proposed budget maintains delivery rates at present levels while establishing operating and capital budgets that are expected to be adequate to allow PSEG to begin to carry out its vital mission of improved utility service and responsiveness, with the goal of achieving improved levels of customer satisfaction," said LIPA COO John McMahon. "Our ability to maintain current delivery rate levels reflects budget discipline as well as the benefit of significant financial assistance from New York State and Federal grants that will support PSEG’s  efforts to modernize the utility's systems and improve its ability to respond to customers during storms, and communicate with customers seeking assistance from the utility on a day-in, day-out basis. New York State continues to be instrumental in securing assistance from the Federal government's disaster recovery programs."

“We look forward to serving the people of Long Island in 2014,” said Dave Daly, president and COO of PSEG’s Long Island subsidiary. “This budget will finance the complete timeline of activities we have scheduled in the coming year focused on customer satisfaction, ensuring reliability and improving the storm process.”

As PSEG assumes responsibility for LIPA’s energy efficiency and renewable energy programs in 2014, it is committed to remaining a leader in this area. The 2014 budget includes continued funding for programs serving both residential and commercial customers. In developing the 2014 budget for efficiency and renewable programs supported by the Efficiency Long Island rider, PSEG evaluated the current programs and identified for continuation and expansion those programs that are best able to achieve a goal to reduce peak demand by 60 megawatts in a cost-effective manner.  This is the same level of peak demand savings as achieved in 2013, and will further diversify Long Island’s energy portfolio and continue to create high-quality clean energy jobs.

In 2014, LIPA, PSEG, the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will work together to collaboratively administer clean energy programs on Long Island, including a targeted effort to reduce energy use in public buildings using NYPA financing, innovative programs to aggregate residential customers to lower the cost of home energy retrofits, and  a statewide solar energy collaborative program that recognizes and accounts for LIPA’s significant and unique financial investments, and is economically viable over the long-term while achieving the statewide goals of the NY-Sun Initiative.  In 2014, PSEG will also submit a “Utility 2.0” plan to the Department of Public Service which builds on these clean energy programs and incorporates demand response and clean distributed energy solutions into the operation of the utility and long-term capital planning.

Pursuant to the LIPA Reform Act, LIPA will also restructure a portion of its debt later this year to control interest expense.  LIPA is also working with state and federal disaster recovery partners to invest in new infrastructure and strengthen the electric system such as rebuilding power lines, elevating critical equipment in those substations located in flood zones, and installing a new outage management system which will improve storm restoration and communication. In addition, as a result of FEMA reimbursement with the remainder of the costs being covered by insurance, other federal funds, and assistance from the state, it is anticipated that no charges related to the restoration effort from Superstorm Sandy will be passed on to customers.

Public input sessions on the proposed budget will be held on November 14th in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Customers are encouraged to attend one of the two (2) public sessions to provide comments on the proposed budget. A list of public hearing dates and locations is located on LIPA’s website. LIPA customers may also submit comments via email to 2014budget@lipower.org through November 25, 2013.

It is anticipated that the LIPA Board of Trustees will consider the adoption of the proposed 2014 budget at its November 26, 2013 meeting, which is also open to the public and will be held at LIPA’s headquarters at 333 Earle Ovington Boulevard in Uniondale beginning at 11AM.
 
About NYSERDA
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975. For more information, visit www.nyserda.ny.gov or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram.

About LIPA
LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric provider, owns the retail electric Transmission and Distribution System on Long Island and provides electric service to more than 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA is the 2nd largest municipal electric utility in the nation in terms of electric revenues, 3rd largest in terms of customers served and the 7th largest in terms of electricity delivered. In 2011, LIPA outperformed all other overhead electric utilities in New York State for frequency and duration of service interruptions. LIPA does not provide natural gas service or own any on-island generating assets. More information about LIPA can be found online at www.lipower.org.