Policy:

Letter to LIPA from Long Island Senators Regarding the CBC Charge

November 26, 2021

October 26, 2021

Thomas Falcone
Chief Executive Officer
Long Island Power Authority
333 Earle Ovington Boulevard
Uniondale, New York 11553

Re: Customer Benefit Charge

Dear Mr. Falcone,

We write to express our opposition to the Customer Benefit Contribution (CBC) charge proposed by the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). The CBC functions as a tax on solar customers and thus reduces the incentive for homeowners to install solar energy. The CBC as currently conceived would impede growth of the Long Island solar industry, reduce local clean energy job opportunities, and make it even more difficult for New York to achieve its Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act decarbonization targets.
We maintain the following positions about the CBC:

* The imposition of the CBC at the levels approved will materially degrade annual savings for financed residential solar systems on Long Island, be a headwind to the adoption of residential solar, and undermine New York’s realization of its CLCPA-mandated goals and the new state-wide goal of 10 GW of distributed solar by 2030.

* Annual residential solar deployments on Long Island have already declined by 37 percent from 2016 to 2019, and the addition of the CBC will only further impede the growth of solar.

* We believe that the customers that would be subject to the CBC are already making significant personal financial investments in support of New York’s clean energy goals. It would be unfair to require them to pay public benefit charges for programs designed to meet these goals.

We believe that the CBC will likely dissuade home-owners from adopting solar. We recommend that LIPA table the implementation of the CBC before the January 1, 2022 date of effect. We respect LIPA’s desire to continue to invest in the grid and their public benefit programs, but we must find a way to do so without hindering our attempt to comply with the state solar goals.

Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

/ Kevin Thomas /
Senator, 6th District

/ James F. Gaughran /
Senator, 5th District

/ Anna M. Kaplan /
Senator, 7th District

/ John E. Brooks /
Senator, 8th District

/ Todd Kaminsky /
Senator, 9th District

CC:
Mark Fischl, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, Long Island Power Authority
Daniel Eichhorn, President and COO, PSEG-Long Island
Rory Christian, Chair and CEO, New York State Public Service Commission
Doreen Harris, President and CEO, NYSERDA
David Sandbank, Director of Distributed Energy Resources, NYSERDA