Many of the organizations mentioned often in the pages of The Cooperator are extremely high-profile; constantly seeking new members, holding seminars and social events, meeting with city and state legislators, and holding outreach programs for the public.
The New York Energy Consumers Council (NYECC), however, is more low-key. The organization does hold seminars and member events, but its membership list is more exclusive. The NYECC represents some of the largest property owners in New York City, and its main mission has been to represent these large energy users in rate negotiations before the Public Service Commission (PSC).
The NYECC is also active in related issues, such as emissions regulations, electric-demand response programs, sales taxes for delivery of natural gas and power (the organization’s efforts were instrumental in mitigating these taxes), economic development incentive rates, rebates for energy-efficient technologies, and more.
Advocacy Since 1953
According to NYECC’s Executive Director David Bomke, the organization is descended from two earlier groups. One, the Owners’ Committee on Electric rates, was founded in 1953. This organization had a record of successful regulatory intervention. The other, the New York Energy Buyers’ Forum, was founded in 1992. Its mission was education, regulatory intervention and member representation. The two organizations consolidated in 2004 to form what is now the NYECC.
Before these organizations were formed, says Bomke, the utilities’ interests were heard by the PSC; the small consumers were represented by the state’s Consumer Protection Board, which is still active. However, large energy buyers didn’t have a voice of their own. Both predecessor organizations, he says, had as their mission “ensuring that [members’] voices be heard.”