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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:39 pm 
LIPA Announces Comprehensive Plan to Meet Island’s Short- and Long-Term Energy Needs
Plan Includes: Energy Efficiency, Renewable Wind Power, On- and Off-Island Resources
1,000 Megawatts of New Resources to be Added

Uniondale, NY – May 26, 2004 – The Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) today announced a comprehensive portfolio of new energy resources that will add over 1,000 megawatts (MW) of new energy to LIPA’s portfolio over the next eight to ten years. LIPA’s plan is the most resource-diverse energy supply plan in Long Island’s history, and is designed to help meet the region’s growing demand for electricity in the most cost efficient way possible.
“Over the last six years, Long Island’s appetite for electricity has continued to grow,” said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. “We’ve been making gains with energy conservation and efficiency programs, while adding more than 600 megawatts of new on-island generation over the last three years. Nevertheless, consumption continues to grow at an unprecedented pace of more than 100 megawatts per year.
“While we’ve kept pace with demand, we need efficient resources to meet the anticipated growth over the next eight to ten years,” said Mr. Kessel. “The comprehensive energy resource plan we’re announcing today, when fully implemented, will provide Long Island with the resources it will need to meet customer demand while providing a prudent margin for contingencies.”
Mr. Kessel indicated that, as a matter of routine, all of the proposed project contracts will be submitted to the offices of the State Comptroller and the Attorney General for review and approval. He also indicated that the Comptroller’s Office will be asked to undertake a complete review of LIPA’s entire RFP evaluation process to ensure that it was fair, impartial, and competitive.
The LIPA Board of Trustees must also review and vote to accept the recommendations of LIPA’s project Selection Committee.
Results of Four Competitive Process
Today’s announcement of the selection of preferred projects culminates nearly 18 months of review and analysis by an interdisciplinary team of engineering, financial, fuel, environmental and legal professionals who served as the Selection Committee. The team evaluated all of the individual responses to the four different LIPA Requests for Proposals (RFP) between January 2003 and February 2004, and then reviewed and evaluated the top contenders who responded to each RFP to ensure that the overall selections conform with LIPA’s planning criteria as contained in its Energy Master Plan while complimenting the multi-faceted state and federal planning and regulatory requirements.
The objective of the LIPA team’s resource analysis design was to ensure that a thorough and fair evaluation of each proposal was made so that the best projects would be chosen for Long Island’s diverse, long-term energy needs.
The comprehensive energy resource plan announced by LIPA contains five key elements: 1) Energy Efficiency and Demand Reduction; 2) Renewables and Distributed Generation; 3) On-Island Power Supply for Summer 2005; 4) New On- and Off-Island “base-load” resources linked to Long Island via a cable to New Jersey capable of being available in 2007; 5) Risk Mitigation to increase fuel and energy diversity.
1) Energy Efficiency and Demand Reduction Plan
On October 7, 2003 at the urging of Governor George Pataki, LIPA issued an RFP seeking proposals that would help LIPA achieve up to 75 MWs of energy and capacity savings through long-term energy efficiency initiatives. LIPA received a total of 12 proposals. Of the 12, six responses will be recommended to LIPA’s Board of Trustees for acceptance. The six approved contractors will implement a wide range of energy efficiency programs that will target both small and large commercial and industrial customers, publicly owned buildings and multi-family dwellings to help these assets achieve long-term energy savings through the use of more energy efficient heating and air conditioning technologies, lighting systems, pumps and motor drives.
The companies selected include: Aspen Systems Corporation, Custom Energy, Ameresco, CSGServices, Inc., Honeywell and Johnson Controls. The energy efficiency programs proposed by these six companies will collectively achieve about 73 MWs of long-term energy savings.
2) Renewable Offshore Wind Resources
As a result of the Governor’s initiative to develop a statewide renewable portfolio standard and to increase the diversity of its energy portfolio through greater use of alternative energy resources, LIPA will seek to have an offshore wind park built that will be capable of generating approximately 100 to 140 MWs of electricity.
On January 22, 2003, LIPA issued an RFP seeking proposals to build, own and operate an Offshore Wind Park. Of the two very comprehensive proposals submitted to LIPA for evaluation, the Selection Team recommends that negotiations on a power purchase agreement should commence with FPL Energy on its plan to build 39, 3.6 megawatt GE wind turbines in a cluster design three miles Southwest of Robert Moses State Park.
The wind park concept will undergo extensive environmental and regulatory review by numerous regulatory entities before any construction can begin.
3) 2005 Combined-Cycle Generation
On February 23, 2004, LIPA issued an RFP seeking proposals for new combined cycle generation to be in operation by early summer 2005. Fifteen proposals were received and five were short listed for a comprehensive review of their economic, technical, environmental and community merits.
Based on the Selection Committee’s evaluation, Calpine’s Bethpage project and Pinelawn Power’s Babylon project, which will each be capable of producing a maximum of 79.9 MWs of electricity, will be recommended to the LIPA Board of Trustees as the projects to advance for next summer. The Board will review this recommendation at its May 26th meeting.
The selection of Calpine and Pinelawn Power continues to diversify the number of companies with on-island generation assets, which is one of LIPA’s strategic objectives.
4) 2007 Based-Load Generation and Supply Projects
On May 30, 2003, LIPA issued an RFP seeking proposals for 250 to 600 MWs of “base-load” supply to help meet Long Island’s long-term energy needs. The new energy resources could come from either on-island generation assets or off-island sources linked to Long Island via a new cable.
LIPA’s evaluation team reviewed a total of 14 responses and selected a combination of two projects that will provide both on- and off-island solutions.
The Caithness Bellport proposal, which will be capable of generating 326 MWs of power, emerged as the on-island generation proposal with the greatest long-term benefits for Long Island. LIPA will seek a Power Purchase Agreement for 277 MWs of the plant’s output, which will make 49 MWs available for merchant transactions. This will be the first power plant on Long Island with a dedicated merchant power component.
The Neptune cable project, which can link Long Island to a diverse source of supply from markets southwest of the region, emerged as the off-island resource with the greatest long-term benefits for Long Island. The 67-mile-long Neptune cable will be capable of transporting some 660 MWs of supply, and will open up an energy corridor from the North Atlantic states through Long Island on into New England and Canada.
5) Risk Mitigation
With the selection of the Neptune project as a cable link to resources Southwest of Long Island, existing electricity generators in that region with excess capacity, and project developers eager to tap new markets should become more interested in the Long Island market as an outlet. As a result, LIPA will issue a new RFP this fall seeking proposals to supply LIPA with up to 600 megawatts of power via the Neptune cable. Power imported over the Neptune cable will be needed by the Summer of 2007.
Seeking energy purchase contracts with suppliers in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland will provide LIPA with the opportunity to gain access to a more diverse, cost-effective supply source, which will help contain future electricity costs on Long Island.
All of the proposals will go before LIPA’s Board of Trustees for approval. The first project that will be considered by the Board will be the combined cycle projects that need to be ready for Summer 2005. The LIPA Board will consider this recommendation at its May 26, meeting which will be held at the Sagtikos Arts & Sciences Building on the Brentwood campus of Suffolk Community College starting at 8:00 pm. The remaining elements of the energy supply plan for Long Island will go before the Board of Trustees at a future meeting.
LIPA, a non-profit municipal electric utility, owns the retail electric system on Long Island and provides electric service to nearly 1.1 million customers in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. LIPA does not own any electric generation assets on Long Island, and it does not provide natural gas service.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:45 pm 
LIPA considers late fees for residential customers
http://www.courant.com/topic/ny
Even as it sought to justify a 4.8 percent bill increase at sometimes testy morning and night meetings with ratepayers Thursday, the Long Island Power Authority separately acknowledged that a rise in late-paying customers has it considering late fees.

Commercial customers already pay late fees to LIPA, but residential customers do not. Chief executive Kevin Law stressed the prospect of levying the fees on residential customers is far from finalized, particularly in light of the bill increase LIPA sought to explain Thursday.

"I'm thinking about it, but I haven't made a decision," he said. Yet, he added, "Our arrears are up and we need to do something about it."

The number of late-paying customers hit an all-time high of 219,171 in August. Since his earliest days at LIPA, Law said many LIPA customers have taken advantage of the authority by delaying payments until the last possible moment.

A bill goes into arrears when it is 30 days or more overdue.

Ratepayer Thomas Fanning of St. James said the idea of late fees atop the increase will compound the problem for some. "Those who are having difficulty will have more difficulty," he said.

Most ratepayers at Thursday's hearings were left scratching their heads that LIPA, which has frequently invoked high oil prices to justify price hikes over the years, could increase rates as fuel prices plummet. Crude oil dropped to a four-year low Thursday, to $43.72 a barrel, and one analyst expects it to drop to $25 next year.

"People don't believe our utility company is being honest with us at this point," about the need for a rate increase, Suffolk Legis. Dan Lasquadro said.

Some ratepayers all but begged LIPA to reconsider the increase. "Is there any way you can bring down the bill even half a percent?" pleaded Rose Van Guilder, a West Babylon senior.

Vincent Saviano, a Carvel shop owner in Bethpage, complained that high electric and other costs are putting a real crimp in his business. "My electric bill is now almost more than my rent," he said after the meeting. "I'm working at a loss."The night session on the budget was considerably more raucous, with ratepayers demanding LIPA consider everything from seeking a federal bailout to filing for bankruptcy.

Garden City lawyer Thomas Liotti said he was forming a litigation group that would seek to force consideration of options including an involuntary bankruptcy to deal with the Shoreham debt. "I'm going to play tough with you guys," he said.

LIPA's justifications of higher costs, lower revenue and a mountain of debt didn't help. "I don't leave here with a clear understanding" of why the increase is needed, Saviano said.

Energy expert Matthew Cordaro told LIPA its projections for increased revenue next year were overly optimistic given softening electric demand. The projections led LIPA to calculate that it will need to buy more fuel in 2009, a factor in the increase. Cordaro urged LIPA to trim the projections. After the meeting, he noted, "All across the country utilities are cutting their revenue projections dramatically." LIPA said it would adjust projections as the year progresses.

Alan Schaechter of Valley Stream told LIPA that after losing his job, he sought to cut his heating bill by turning to electric heaters rather than oil. An increase will topple his budget. "Anything that's going to raise what I can't afford already is going to make my situation worse," he said. He figured the increase will add from $20 to $40 to his monthly electric bill. "I would like to see a totally independent study of this budget," he said.

Law told ratepayers, "I would like nothing more than to cut your rates. I feel for you guys. I'm doing the best I can to control costs." He said he'd give the budget a second look.

LIPA trustees vote on the proposed increase at a Dec. 11 meeting open to the public at LIPA headquarters in Uniondale.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 9:46 pm 
Facts About LIPA 2009 Operating Budget
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
The Long Island Builders Institute thought our members would appreciate knowing a little more about LIPA's budget for next year, so here is some information directly from LIPA.

Proposed Budget Highlights
? $16 million in funding for renewable technologies:
? expanding successful Solar Pioneer program and creating a new Solar Entrepreneur program for commercial customers interested in installing photovoltaic systems up to 100KW. ($15 million)
? new Small Wind Power initiative for residents and businesses ($1.24 million)
? $40 million investment for LIPA’s new energy efficiency program (as we embark on the 10-year, one-billion dollar Efficiency Long Island program) while deferring creation of separate assessment
? Funding for implementation of 50 MW solar project (largest solar initiative in the State of New York)
? Funds to expand deployment of Smart Meter technology
? $10 million for a newly-created Low-income Senior Energy Assistance Program
? Funds to study redevelopment options for the nearly 60 acres of industrially-zoned land owned by LIPA surrounding and including the former Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant
? Funds to finalize update to LIPA’s Master Energy Plan
? Funds for an independent audit of LIPA’s Power Supply Charge in coordination with the PSC
? Funds for first LIPA customer service center in the Rockaway portion of Queens
? Funds assessing our ability to repower aging generation plants

While there is a proposed 4.8% raise in rates in January, which will add about $7.45 a month to the typical residential customer’s bill…It is not accurate to say that our customers' more efficient use of energy is the reason for the proposed rate increase. Using less energy will result in a decrease in customers’ bills, gives LIPA the ability to avoid building the next power plant, and benefits the environment by reducing emissions that compromise the air we breathe.

Major Factors Driving the Power Supply Charge Adjustment
• more than 95% of the Authority’s nearly $4 billion budget is comprised of mandated expenses,
• LIPA is public authority, having no shareholders and receiving no revenue or financial assistance from the state or federal governments
• LIPA pays more than $425 million in taxes to the state, Nassau and Suffolk counties, towns and villages and local school districts on Long Island
• LIPA left the starting gate ten years ago straining under the yoke of $7 billion of debt, most of which is still on the books today.
• $41 million in higher commodity costs representing the net impact of LIPA’s commodity hedge positions for 2009
• $37 million in compliance costs associated with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
• $27 million for LIPA’s compliance with the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS)
• $114 million gap from the use of power supply revenues over-collected in 2007 and used in 2008, mitigated to some extent by the utilization of KeySpan/National Grid settlement benefits to offset this cost increase (there was no over collection in 2008 to transfer to the 2009 budget)
• $19 million in higher bill credits to ESCO’s due to higher participation in the Long Island Choice Program

Despite these challenges, it is critical to continue investing in our energy future by pursuing more renewable alternative forms of energy and promoting energy efficiency as the proposed 2009 budget does. As promised LIPA is beginning to implement its Efficiency Long Island program announced earlier this year as we are deferring a separate assessment to pay for the program

• LIPA’s proposed 2009 Operating Budget is available on LIPA’s Web site at www.lipower.org and public comment sessions will be held on December 4 at 10:00AM and 7:00 PM at Melville, Marriot Hotel.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:55 pm 
LIPA bills more than double at Ridge senior community
BY MARK HARRINGTON | mark.harrington@newsday.com 8:32 PM EST, February 26, 2009
With more cold weather predicted for next week, seniors from the Leisure Knoll community in Ridge are once again bracing for a double whammy: chilly temperatures and off-the-chart LIPA bills.

The 700 homes in this primarily fixed-income community have all-electric heat, and as a result have been hit with LIPA bills more than double last year's -- some exceeding $1,000, according to several residents.

It's unclear how many Leisure Knoll residents may be affected by a new $10-million program by LIPA to help low-income seniors pay their electric bills. Many of the residents have pension incomes, and probably won't qualify. National Grid will administer the program for a year for a fee of up to $600,000, LIPA said.

Financial help or not, complaints of overbilling and accusations of a meter-reading "scam" by LIPA grew so loud at Leisure Knoll starting in January that the authority conducted a mass review of 700 bills and sent crews to do 106 "special reads" of electric meters, the authority said.

There were no errors in the bills," said LIPA spokesman Ed Dumas. "It's just an unfortunate byproduct of electric heat. When it gets cold, it gets expensive." LIPA estimates this winter has been 35 percent colder than last year's. The impact is being felt beyond Leisure Knoll. Some 40,000 Long Islanders have electric heat and receive a special rate in peak seasons, Dumas said. But with LIPA's power supply charge near record highs, the special rate provides only marginal relief.

Leisure Knoll residents were particularly angered because record-high bills came despite their efforts over the past year to conserve energy, including through LIPA efficiency programs.

"We have done everything that we possibly could," said retired nurse Deborah Berlin, 72, who spoke from her living room wearing thermal underwear over sweatpants and a sweater. Her LIPA bill more than doubled last month, to $892 from around $400 in January 2008, despite LIPA efficiency measures.

Berlin said she and many people she knows have turned their thermostats down to under 65 degrees.

Outrage over high bills is only part of the concern, Leisure Knoll residents said. Einar Sorli, 67, a retired postal worker, said he has complained to LIPA and legislators that the authority purposely lowballed his December meter reading so that it could include more of his usage in the January bill, when LIPA rates increased by 3.2 percent.

"I believe this was done purposely to get more money since there was an increase in rates," he said. Sorli and his wife, Carol, live with the thermostat set between 55 and 60 degrees, and drive to a laundry to avoid running up bills rather than use their own electric appliances, he said.

Dumas denied any intentional meter manipulation, though he noted billing periods routinely vary from 29 days to 38 days, thus stretching out some bills.

To make matters worse, residents said they don't trust a system in which LIPA plays investigator and judge when they file formal complaints about service or bills. "When we tried to complain to LIPA, we got nowhere," Berlin said. LIPA is one of the few electric utilities in the state that is not regulated by the Public Service Commission.

Berlin wrote a letter she plans to deliver to Sen. Kenneth LaValle and other legislators with 100 signatures demanding relief from soaring bills.

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Sam’ If this is the way we are going to be treated as old people, we'd better move out of New York State before we reach old age. New York and LIPA are two cold places in more than one way for the aged. It speaks real poorly of the way New Yorkers treat their elderly

Frank I asked LIPA to check my meter to see if it was calibrated correctly due to my neighbors bills are routinely lower than mine. They have more people living there, a larger home, and an electric stove, pool, dishwasher, etc. We are a working family and only home on the weekends. We have a propane stove, no dishwasher, and our electric useage is for the normal stuff.
They flat out refused, questioned why neighbors would compare bills, and mailed me a self electric survey.
I guess when you can do whatever you want to do with no real watchful eye, you do whatever you want to do.

Liner Frank wrote:
I asked LIPA to check my meter to see if it was calibrated correctly due to my neighbors bills are routinely lower than mine. They have more people living there, a larger home, and an electric stove, pool, dishwasher, etc. We are a working family and only home on the weekends. We have a propane stove, no dishwasher, and our electric useage is for the normal stuff.
They flat out refused, questioned why neighbors would compare bills, and mailed me a self electric survey.I guess when you can do whatever you want to do with no real watchful eye, you do whatever you want to do. Go over in the middle of the night and swap meters with your neighbor.

Rachel from Ridge I'm glad someone finally took the time to write about how ridiculous the rates are at LIPA. I have electric heat also, and have never heard of this "special rate" that I am supposed to be receiving. My bill last month was over $400 and I live in a small townhouse. Seeing the supply charges make up over half of my bill makes me sick. Knowing that LIPA gets away with whatever they want makes me sick. When are they finally going to be investigated? You know the answer. Never. Or when pigs fly. They have no one to answer to. They got rid of LILCO, but LIPA, in my opinion is much worse

I-Rate Patchogue NY To clear up some of Rachael’s misconceptions, I suggest visiting www.lipalies.com to see how officials of the Long Island Power Authority and officials of its subsidiary LILCO -- which has been doing business as LIPA for over 10 years -- lie and Newsday knowingly prints these lies.
For example, she complains:“They got rid of LILCO, but LIPA, in my opinion is much worse.” But LIPA is LILCO’s DBA; so no one “got rid of LILCO”. It’s a subsidiary of a NYS criminal enterprise that pays Newsday huge advertising fees to keep many dirty little secrets and print their lies!
Without specifying which rate, Rachael also complains about the Authority’s rates – which are not set by LILCO’s DBA. I too heat with electricity, but the electricity is used to heat water in a tankless water heater that’s pumped through baseboard radiators like those in oil systems. This type of space-heating system is nearly twice as efficient as straight electric resistance heat installed in Leisure Knolls, Leisure Village, Avery Village and thousands of other all-electric homes. LILCO promoted such wasteful systems in the 1960’s to inflate demand in order to justify Shoreham and inefficient peaker-plants that made up a large fraction of the 53 power plants National Grid bought from KeySpan. I fell for this scam by switching from oil to straight electric resistance heat; the only system LILCO supported with incentives 45 years ago.

These “pigs fly“ and lie, while the Governor, Attorney General, PSC and Newsday each turn a blind eye.
She then asks:“When are they finally going to be investigated?” By whom; Cuomo and DiNapoli even approved an illegal Management Services Agreement (MSA) between National Grid & LILCO? A former PSC fined LILCO $1.4 billion as you may confirm @ www.gfxtechnology.com/RICO.pdf , whereas the current PSC is beyond corrupt.

If Rachel closely examines her January bill, she will see the bulk of her usage is billed at a legal 5.15-cents/KWH.(In our case about 90% was billed at this rate.) Newsday is very careful to keep this a secret too, by knowingly printing lie after lie. She also complains:“… supply charges make up over half of my bill..”, whereas illegal “supply charges” & PILOTS & sales taxes thereon made up 65.43% of our $722.28 bill for 34 days (1/6/09 to 2/9/09).
Another thing Newsday has been concealing is that the Authority’s Tariff leaves 159, et. seq., allow billing disputes and forbid National Grid, LILCO’s corrupt manager, from terminating service while a billing-dispute is pending -- provided the undisputed amount is paid.

One of the most despicable lies Newsday knowingly printed in yesterday’s paper is this misleading statement attributed to Ed Dumas:“It’s just an unfortunate byproduct of electric heat”, without noting electric-hydronic heat using a tankless water heater will use nearly half as much electricity.
Dumas & Newsday know or should know this because it’s well documented in my 10-year old proposal to the Authority opened by this link “Tankless Space & Water Heating Proposal to LIPA:”@ http://gfxtechnology.com/Combi.html .
I haven’t been able to update the “Case Study: Electric Heat Now Cheaper Than Oil” linked to this page because energy prices are so manipulated. Oil prices have dropped since May of 2008, while our balanced billing amount has been illegally raised by 13.89%, from $252 to $287, yet electric-hydronic heat remains competitive with oil; even with huge, illegal rate increases.
The reason the Authority did not fund my 1999 Proposal should now be obvious, a 20,000 KWH photovoltaic (PV) array would supply nearly all the energy for my house; something no electric utility wants to see – especially the Long Island Power Authority with such huge bribery, advertising, bond, payola & fuel budget needs.(Yes, National Grid stockholders don’t pay for fuel wasted in its grossly-inefficient power plants; ratepayers do


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:54 pm 
Mark Harrington seems to be the only one in the Long Island version paper to write about LILCO/LIPA/MARKETSPAN/KEYSPAN/NAT'L GREED. It appears we are only getting half of the truth. Mr. Harrington why is this. How come you do not state ALL the facts on articles written. Is it because of your editor? I know what goes on and I believe you do as well but you only write about half the truth and the other half disappears. I know you are trying to please both the company's intrest and the people BUT... the people do not care about the company's named so digging up some dirt will do no harm. It will however, get you a better fan base as a writer.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:38 pm 
LIPA bills more than double at Ridge senior community
BY MARK HARRINGTON | mark.harrington@newsday.com 8:32 PM EST, February 26, 2009
With more cold weather predicted for next week, seniors from the Leisure Knoll community in Ridge are once again bracing for a double whammy: chilly temperatures and off-the-chart LIPA bills.

The 700 homes in this primarily fixed-income community have all-electric heat, and as a result have been hit with LIPA bills more than double last year's -- some exceeding $1,000, according to several residents.

It's unclear how many Leisure Knoll residents may be affected by a new $10-million program by LIPA to help low-income seniors pay their electric bills. Many of the residents have pension incomes, and probably won't qualify. National Grid will administer the program for a year for a fee of up to $600,000, LIPA said.

Financial help or not, complaints of overbilling and accusations of a meter-reading "scam" by LIPA grew so loud at Leisure Knoll starting in January that the authority conducted a mass review of 700 bills and sent crews to do 106 "special reads" of electric meters, the authority said.

There were no errors in the bills," said LIPA spokesman Ed Dumas. "It's just an unfortunate byproduct of electric heat. When it gets cold, it gets expensive." LIPA estimates this winter has been 35 percent colder than last year's. The impact is being felt beyond Leisure Knoll. Some 40,000 Long Islanders have electric heat and receive a special rate in peak seasons, Dumas said. But with LIPA's power supply charge near record highs, the special rate provides only marginal relief.

Leisure Knoll residents were particularly angered because record-high bills came despite their efforts over the past year to conserve energy, including through LIPA efficiency programs.

"We have done everything that we possibly could," said retired nurse Deborah Berlin, 72, who spoke from her living room wearing thermal underwear over sweatpants and a sweater. Her LIPA bill more than doubled last month, to $892 from around $400 in January 2008, despite LIPA efficiency measures.

Berlin said she and many people she knows have turned their thermostats down to under 65 degrees.

Outrage over high bills is only part of the concern, Leisure Knoll residents said. Einar Sorli, 67, a retired postal worker, said he has complained to LIPA and legislators that the authority purposely lowballed his December meter reading so that it could include more of his usage in the January bill, when LIPA rates increased by 3.2 percent.

"I believe this was done purposely to get more money since there was an increase in rates," he said. Sorli and his wife, Carol, live with the thermostat set between 55 and 60 degrees, and drive to a laundry to avoid running up bills rather than use their own electric appliances, he said.

Dumas denied any intentional meter manipulation, though he noted billing periods routinely vary from 29 days to 38 days, thus stretching out some bills.

To make matters worse, residents said they don't trust a system in which LIPA plays investigator and judge when they file formal complaints about service or bills. "When we tried to complain to LIPA, we got nowhere," Berlin said. LIPA is one of the few electric utilities in the state that is not regulated by the Public Service Commission.

Berlin wrote a letter she plans to deliver to Sen. Kenneth LaValle and other legislators with 100 signatures demanding relief from soaring bills.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 10:14 pm 
Assemblyman: NY energy system falls short
BY MARK HARRINGTON | mark.harrington@newsday.com

March 4, 2009 New Yorkers overpay $2.2 billion annually for energy because of an "absurd and destructive" state system that sets power costs artificially high, a top legislator said yesterday in demanding an overhaul.

Assemb. Richard Brodsky (D-Greenburgh), in advance of hearings on legislation that would change the system, said it works by setting wholesale energy prices at auction based on the highest bid, rather than the lowest. All utilities that buy power in these energy auctions, including the Long Island Power Authority, must pay this high-bid cost.

Brodsky called the system, instituted by former Gov. George Pataki and the state Public Service Commission "a complete failure."

The statewide power auctions are run by a private entity known as the New York Independent System Operator, whose spokesmen were unavailable for comment yesterday
Proponents say the system encourages more investment by power companies.

New York "must maintain and enhance its commitment to policies that foster the continued evolution and implementation of competitive energy markets," said Gavin Donohue, president of the trade group Independent Power Producers of New York.

One observer said the promise of the system falls far short.

Power companies "can get together and game the system to inflate prices," said Matthew Cordaro, a Long Island University professor who was previously chief of the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator. Cordaro estimates LIPA customers overpaid $100 million to $200 million since 1998 because of the system.

LIPA chief executive Kevin Law met with Brodsky in Albany yesterday. LIPA spokesman Ed Dumas said Law assured Brodsky he would review a report documenting the costs of the current state energy system and "may be supportive of his efforts if we can identify savings for LIPA customers


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