AARP applauds possible consumer representation at New York ISO

ALBANY, N.Y., Jan. 27, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — AARP today applauded Governor Andrew Cuomo for ordering a review ofNew York’s electric marketplace operator and for seeking recommendations that consumer interests be better represented in the governing structure of the New York Independent System Operator, Inc. (NYISO).

The Governor announced in his 2015 Opportunity Agenda/State of the State that the utility-regulating state Public Service Commission (PSC) would conduct the review and make the recommendations.

“New York households pay some of the highest electric bills in the nation, and the wholesale electricity market overseen by NYISO has a major impact on prices,” said Beth Finkel, State Director for AARP in New York State. “NYISO’s policies affect residential ratepayers, but consumers in New York are without a voice in many utility regulatory proceedings and at the NYISO. AARP thanks Governor Cuomo for taking action to help consumers get a fair shake.”

The NYISO was created in 1999 after the PSC set out to restructure the state’s retail electric markets and deregulate wholesale process. The NYISO is a private, rate-payer funded organization that operates with little accountability to consumers.

AARP has long supported better representation of consumer interests at the NYISO and issued its own recommendations in an AARP report released in December 2009.

“NYISO’s board of directors does not have adequate public and consumer representation, and are not subject to the same transparency standards as other governmental organizations,” Governor Cuomo said in his Opportunity Agenda/State of the State(section 68, pages 144-146). “The PSC will review NYISO’s current governance structure and markets, and make recommendations for governance and market design changes that will better represent consumer interests and facilitate the advancement of the ongoing clean energy policies of New York State.”

“We applaud the Governor for demonstrating real leadership by ordering a new focus on a problem that hits New York utility consumers right in their pocketbooks,” said Finkel.

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of more than 37 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin;; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity of AARP that is working to win back opportunity for struggling Americans 50+ by being a force for change on the most serious issues they face today: housing, hunger, income and isolation. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at