New York: Bill Aims to Ease Electric Costs for Yeshivos


classroom_1Far Rockaway, Queens – In an effort to ensure that local Yeshivas are protected from rising utility costs, Assembly Members Phil Goldfeder (D – Far Rockaway) and Todd Kaminski (D – Cedarhurst) have sponsored a bill (A.0467) that would add both public and nonpublic elementary and secondary schools to the list of the New York power authority’s mandated customers. Under New York State law, mandated customers receive low-cost, renewable-energy electricity from the state, providing millions in savings.

“We must ensure that all our schools, both public and private, are not burdened by rising utility costs. The Yeshivas in our community not only provide quality education to our children, but they also serve a valuable role as places of community gatherings and events,” said Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. “This bill will provide local yeshivas have affordable, dependable energy they need as they work to educate our children and serve the community.”

“Over the past several months I have visited numerous yeshivas and have been extremely impressed and inspired to help them fulfill their educational mission. This bill will help yeshivas in my district save thousands upon thousands of dollars on their electric bill,” said Assemblyman Todd Kaminsky.

The proposed Assembly bill A.0467 would amend the public authorities law to add public and private elementary and secondary schools to the list of entities that receive subsidized electricity from the New York Power Authority (NYPA), the largest state power organization in the country. Current entities on the list of mandated customers include the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Port Authority of NY & NJ, various city and state organizations, select hospitals, and some 250 private corporations including Steinway Piano and the New York Times. The bill would also direct the NYPA to make energy-efficient services and clean energy technologies available to schools.

“Having equal access to discounted energy rates will provide basic equity to the private schools in New York State-which will also benefit our schools’ families and students. Sponsor Sean Ryan and co-sponsors Phil Goldfeder and Todd Kaminsky should be applauded for their commitment to getting this legislation passed. We thank our coalition partners – in particular the UJA-Federation of NY – for their work on crafting this bill,” – Maury Litwack, Director of Political Affairs, Orthodox Union.

“The Energy Parity Act, which was just re-introduced this session, has the potential to save tens of thousands of dollars to Yeshivos across the State,” said RabbiMordechai Kamenetzky of Yeshiva of South Shore. “We applaud Assemblyman Kaminsky and Assemblyman Goldfeder for working on behalf of our community to get this important legislation passed.”

“This legislation could provide significant annual energy savings to our school,” said Reuben Maron, Executive Director of Hebrew Academy Of The Five Towns & Rockaway Inc. “We thank the sponsor Assemblyman Sean Ryan for his leadership on this issue and our local representatives, Assemblymembers Goldfeder and Kaminsky for their commitment to getting this passed this session.”

In introducing the legislation, lawmakers acknowledged the important role schools provide in the community as places of meeting for community groups. The bill also notes that providing reliable energy to public and private centers ensures centers role in providing shelter and services during disasters. During Superstorm Sandy, many Yeshivas opened their doors to victims, providing essential relief to local families.

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