State Sen. George Maziarz, R-C-Newfane, announced Wednesday that legislation he sponsors in the Senate that would pre-empt the Public Service Commission from regulating electric car charging stations passed through the Senate.
Recently, the Legislature approved the Charge NY Program as part of the 2013-14 budget. By its passage, Charge NY will install 360 electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid charging stations across New York. The first of these stations was recently opened in Colonie, with the goal that there will be a statewide network of up to 3,000 stations over the next several years, putting up to 40,000 plug-in vehicles on the road.
Upon passage of similar legislation in California in 2010-11, controversy erupted when the state's Public Utility Commission considered regulating charging stations under its authority in order to have oversight of corporations involved in these stations. New York's PSC similarly commenced a proceeding and is considering enacting regulations over companies that want to expand the availability of electric car charging stations. This legislation will ensure that companies who want to partner with the state in constructing, maintaining and operating electric vehicle charging stations can implement their innovative technologies with a sense of regulatory surety.
"The Charge NY Program is an innovative idea, and it is up to the state to guarantee its success," said Maziarz, chairman of the Senate Energy and Telecommunications Committee. "By adopting this legislation, New York will provide companies the surety that they can committee to this program and implement their designs without the overreaching regulatory arm of the PSC. The growth of energy-efficient and energy-alternative technologies is a driving force for the future of this state, and passage of this legislation goes one step further in assuring that future."
"This legislation ensures that private industry in New York state will fund and build the charging infrastructure needed to support electric vehicle adoption," said Pat Romano, president and CEO at ChargePoint. "New York is set to become the state with the largest number of EV drivers on the East Coast, and the passage of this bill is a critical step to make that happen."
This legislation puts into statute clear directives from the Legislature that electric car charging stations shall not be subject to PSC jurisdiction as electric utility corporations. It has been sent to the Assembly, where a bill is expected to be introduced by Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who chairs the Assembly Energy Committee.