Julia Bovey, the first director of the Long Island office of the Department of Public Service, is resigning effective June 24.
In a note to staff, DPS chief executive Audrey Zibelman acknowledged Bovey “informed the department of her plans to resign effective June 24, 2016 to spend more time with her family and to consider new professional opportunities.”
According to a person familiar with her reasoning, Bovey is leaving after frustrations in dealing with the Long Island Power Authority. LIPA and its staff have “stood in the way and blocked almost every attempt at bringing access to [programs on] Long Island that the rest of New York customers benefit from,” the person said.
Bovey encountered resistance from LIPA in advancing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision, or REV, on Long Island, as well as plans to expand customer choice by clearing the way for energy service companies to expand here, among other initiatives, the person said.
Sid Nathan, a LIPA spokesman, declined to comment on those claims but said LIPA “wishes her well on her future endeavors.”
Bovey was appointed to the role two years ago, after stints with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and First Wind, a wind-energy company.
The job was created with the passage of the LIPA Reform Act of 2013, which gave the new DPS Long Island office a “review and recommend” role in overseeing the operation of LIPA and PSEG Long Island, but not the absolute authority the Public Service Commission has with other regulated utilities.
Zibelman said Bovey was “instrumental in guiding the first electric rate case in a generation, saving Long Island ratepayers more than $116 million. Through her tireless work with ratepayers, elected officials and civic leaders, she has also firmly established the department’s presence on Long Island and our team is now fully operational and providing independent oversight of PSEG LI’s operations.”
Zibelman said Guy Mazza, assistant counsel of DPS Long Island, has been named acting director of the Long Island office until a permanent replacement is selected.”
Bovey won plaudits from community groups, activists and green-energy proponents for championing more community involvement and advancing the concept of new energy paradigms.
“It’s definitely a loss for us on Long Island,” said Gordian Raacke, executive director of Renewable Energy Long Island, a green-energy group. “She is an effective ratepayer advocate and I hate to see her go.”