New York Regulator Opens Proceeding to Address COVID-19 Impacts on Customers, Utilities

The New York State Public Service Commission established a proceeding to identify and address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on utilities and ratepayers and other commission-regulated services and programs, according to a June 11 press release. The proceeding will examine impacts to customers and explore mitigation methods.

The agency will examine the unprecedented change in residential and business demand for electricity in light of the work-from-home requirements. Other focus areas include rate-setting, rate design, utility financial strength, low-income programs, collections and service termination. The proceeding will also cover commission-adopted programs related to onshore and offshore renewable energy, distributed energy, energy efficiency and heat pumps. Further, the agency will consider whether clean energy programs should be maintained or accelerated.

Customers of multiple industries and programs overseen by commission have been affected, including electric and gas distribution utilities, renewable and distributed energy initiatives. Although several actions have been taken, the commission said there is a need to address the ramifications of the pandemic in a more comprehensive manner as it begins to adjust policies to guide the entities and their customers through the crisis.