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Energy

The rising cost of electricity coupled with the lack of new generating capacity continues to be a serous concern for small and large businesses. On average 25% of a consumer’s electrical bill consists of state and local imposed taxes, fees and assessments.

A key to revitalizing New York’s economy is making the State’s energy costs more competitive. The Business Council of Westchester commissioned a report titled “An Assessment of Energy Needs in Westchester County” which stated that the closing of Indian Point Energy Center would have a catastrophic impact on the region resulting in higher electric rates for businesses and consumers, more power outages, a rapid rise in carbon emissions and a devastating blow to Westchester’s economy.

Specifically, the report stated the following important findings if Indian Point were to close:

  • Electric rates would increase by 6.3% or more with consumers paying more then $374 million per year in added electrical bills.
  • By 2020, the probability of electric outages would increase by 280%

  • Carbon emissions, a leading contributor to global warming, would increase by more then six million tons annually, which is the equivalent of adding 1 million more vehicles on our roads.

  • As a result of higher electrical rates and the closure of Indian Point, Westchester County would lose more then 3,300 jobs, many of them high paying jobs, representing over $200 million per year in lost wages.

  • Westchester would also loose $75 million per year in property taxes and revenue sharing with the state.

  • Contributions to local charitable organizations would decline by $2 million annually.

  • Overall, the downstate regional economy would be drained by some $11.5 million
    (inflation adjusted).

Indian Point currently provides 2,065 MW of electrical generation for Westchester and the New York City area, producing over 16 billion kilowatt hours per year. This represents 59% of Con Edison’s retail electrical sales and 25% of all electric sales in New York City and Westchester.

Given the important findings in the above mentioned report, The Business Council of
Westchester strongly supports the Indian Point Energy Center’s 20-year license renewal
application and opposes any direct or indirect local, state or federal efforts to close the
facility.

To meet other energy related challenges The Business Council of Westchester offers the following energy policy recommendations in 2014:

LOWER ENERGY COSTS TO SPUR THE ECONOMY AND BENEFIT CONSUMERS:

  • New York consumers still suffer from the impact of excessive taxes, fees and other assessments levied from numerous levels of government The U.S. Energy Information Administration has cited that New York State’s electrical rates are 44% above the national average. The Business Council of Westchester recommends:
     
  • The immediate elimination of the 18-a utility surcharge which authorizes the state to impose a fee on electrical bills of consumers and businesses. The Public Policy Institute of New York has found that 25 % of a typical New Yorker’s electricity bill can be attributed to arcane taxes and surcharges that help balance the state budget. These taxes and surcharges have little or nothing to do with the actual delivery of electricity.

FURTHER PROMOTE CONSERVATION AND GROW A NEW GENERATION OF GREEN JOBS

  • The Business Council of Westchester supports the following measures:Use of the Systems Benefit Charge and regional Greenhouse Gas Initiatives (RGGI) funds to ensure funding for cost-effective energy efficiency programs implemented by local utilities and state agencies.
     
  • Implementation of green job training program.

  • Tax abatements and other incentives offered by local government and the IDA’s for the construction of new facilities in accordance with the U.S. LEED Green Building Rating System.

  • Inclusion of Minority Women Owned Businesses to ensure all people and
    businesses benefit from the growing green economy.


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