Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the New York State Public Service Commission had approved a request by upstate utility National Grid to provide up to $2 million in grants to help agricultural, business and commercial electric and gas customers hurt by recent rainstorms and flooding in the Mohawk Valley. The Commissions approval of the programs, similar to initiatives created following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, will enable National Grid to provide much needed financial assistance to qualifying business customers within the companys service territory.
The recent storms that devastated communities across the Mohawk Valley have left many businesses with significant costs to repair and replace key equipment, Governor Cuomo said. This financial support from National Grid is an important resource that will provide much needed relief I encourage all eligible businesses to apply and applaud National Grids actions to aid the regions ongoing recovery.
Ken Daly, National Grid President for New York State, said, National Grid is pleased with the New York State Public Service Commissions comprehensive review and immediate approval of this program. When we saw the devastation caused by the flooding in the Mohawk Valley and completed the electric and gas restoration, we knew that much more was needed to reconnect the equipment of the impacted customers. We will be part of the long-term recovery efforts in the region and help rebuild these communities just as we did after Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
Many customers within National Grids service territory are struggling to recover from the devastating effects of severe flooding caused by recent rainstorms, said PSC Chairman Garry Brown. Governor Cuomos issuance of disaster declaration for the counties highlighted the need for the utility to come up with a plan to help rebuild businesses, which will help sustain employment in the communities.
The utility program approved by the PSC on Thursday will provide funds to help offset costs associated with energy infrastructure repair and/or replacement, rehabilitation of commercial, industrial, and mixed-use buildings, and replacement of fixed machinery and equipment necessary for business operation. To be eligible, customers must apply for the emergency programs by December 31, 2013. Grants awarded under the emergency programs are intended to be provided to customers after all other federal and state funding and insurance disbursements to customers are exhausted.
The late June storms and flooding that prompted Governor Cuomos June 28, 2013 disaster declaration devastated portions of National Grids service territory, including the counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Herkimer, Madison, Montgomery, Oneida, Otsego, Schoharie, St. Lawrence and Warren.
In the wake of a natural disaster, helping impacted businesses recover is a priority for National Grid. As business activity is resumed, jobs are retained in the community, household income is restored, and new capital investment provides additional stimulus in the regional economy. Additionally, all utility customers benefit from the restoration of energy delivery sales, revenue and infrastructure.
To receive grants of up to $50,000, eligible non-residential customers must have sustained physical damage to their premises and must have lost electric and/or natural gas service due to the storms and flooding. Emergency program grants are available only to fill financial gaps that remain after all other sources of assistance are applied, including insurance and federal, state and local aid.
To be eligible for the program, the applicant must:
- Be a National Grid commercial or industrial electric and/or gas customer, or an agri-business taking service on a National Grid residential rate; and
- Be applying for assistance for a building that sustained physical damage and lost electric and/or natural gas service as a result of the storms and flooding, and
- Show evidence of monetary need based on a funding gap, demonstrated in a budget that identifies funds from all sources, such as personal funds, borrowed funds, insurance settlements, federal, state and local sources; and
- Produce estimates for eligible renovations or a storm damage assessment, which includes estimated costs for renovations conducted by a government agency; and
- Be located in a county within an area declared a State of Emergency by New York State and/or the Federal government, and
- Be current in payments to National Grid or have executed a deferred payment agreement with the company, unless the arrears are directly related to the storm;
- Wherever possible, pursue opportunities through National Grid and/or NYSERDAs Energy Efficiency programs, and
- Receive an endorsement of the application by a State, regional or local economic development or agricultural agency that is familiar with both the applicants project and National Grids program requirements. The endorsement must include a site visit and should provide photographic evidence of storm damage to the subject property.