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Recharge NY Power Program pases NY Senate

Senator John A. DeFrancisco (R-I-C, Syracuse) and his colleagues passed legislation (S.3164) yesterday to create "Recharge NY," a program that would provide low-cost power to help businesses create and retain jobs.

"This bill will provide businesses with a permanent solution for low-cost electricity. With a permanent solution in place, businesses will have the stability they need to make long-term plans for their businesses, and they will be able to create jobs," said Senator DeFrancisco.

"The current Power for Jobs program requires businesses to receive extensions each year, which makes it impossible to plan for the future," said Senator DeFrancisco.

The "Recharge NY" bill, which was submitted as a program bill by Governor Andrew Cuomo, and is included in his 2011-12 Executive Budget, would double the amount of low-cost power available for businesses and non-profits.

The program could help revitalize the manufacturing sector of New York's economy that has lost 288,000 jobs over the past 10 years. Electricity rates for New York businesses are twice as high as rates in other states. New York's high energy costs are a factor when New York-based companies decide whether to stay open or expand and when new companies decide where they want to invest.

The bill is supported by the Business Council of New York State, the New York Farm Bureau, NFIB, the Manufacturers Association of Central New York, Environmental Advocates, the Long Island Association and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.

The original Power for Jobs program began in 1997 and has been extended on a year to-year basis the past five years. It currently provides low-cost power to about 500 businesses. The new program would provide twice the wattage and businesses participating in the program would receive seven-year commitments for their allocations of low-cost power.

There would be no cost to the state for this program.

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