LIPA adjusting business ReCharge discounts

LIPA trustees have approved a change in rate structure for Long Island businesses that are part of the state's ReCharge New York program for discounted energy prices.

The change Thursday came in response to businesses that notified LIPA earlier this month that its rate structure inadvertently negated some of the cost benefits of the newly implemented state program. Under ReCharge, the New York Power Authority provides up to 910 megawatts of discounted power to eligible industrial and commercial customers, which in turn pledge to retain and expand jobs within the state.

Because LIPA's delivery charge has components that other private utilities participating in the program do not, Long Island businesses that are part of ReCharge weren't getting the full discount the program intended, LIPA acknowledged.

Under the change approved Thursday LIPA will give the businesses a 30 percent discount off their delivery charge, retroactive to July 1.

Michael Petrucelli, chief financial officer of Uncle Wally's, a baked-goods company in Shirley that pointed out the problem at a recent LIPA trustees meeting, applauded LIPA for responding quickly to fix the problem.

"We feel relieved," he said. "What LIPA did completes the program, and it will help retain and attract businesses on Long Island."

Uncle Wally's last month received 316 kilowatts of discounted power from the state after pledging to add 17 people to its 218-person staff.

"We made a decision to stay here on Long Island," in part because of the rate relief, Petrucelli said.

LIPA said the change will result in a reduction of its revenue of $2.2 million from July through year-end, and another $3.7 million in estimated revenue next year.

For information about the change for LIPA customers in Recharge New York, go to: www.lipower.org.

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