Proposal by public advocate would see city transition to 'public power'

Public Advocate Jumaane Williams unveiled a proposal Friday that would see the city transition from privately owned energy companies like Con Edison to having its own public power operated by the city.

News 12 Staff

Aug 7, 2020, 9:53 PM

Updated 1,389 days ago

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After Isaias left thousands of New Yorkers without power, some elected officials are calling for New York City to control its own power system. 
"It is clear that what we have and what exists does not work. Public power will allow for greater transparency, accountability -- with lower rates,” said Williams. 
According to Con Edison’s outage map, more than 40,000 New Yorkers are still without power as of Friday. 
Williams released a report that outlines his proposed plan for the city to acquire public power from Con Edison--saying the company has a history with widespread outages and rising rates. 
"Our plan is to extend the existing New York Power Authority to get lower rates on producing and buying electricity, and in transmission, our plan involves acquiring the Con Edison transmission grid and establishing the city itself as a utility in its place,” said Williams. 
A spokesperson for Con Edison responded to the proposal, saying, “Right now we're focused on the safe restoration of our customers. We are happy to discuss how to best advance the city and state's clean energy goals. We will review the report."
Williams says his next step in the plan is to work on legislation which would have to be passed by the state. 
If passed, he says the entire process could take several years.


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