As New York prepared to move to a competitive retail electric market in 1998, the New York State Public Service Commission recognized the importance of identifying, discussing, and addressing the issues that may confront low-income consumers in the evolving energy landscape. To that end, the Commission established the Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) to provide a forum for public dialogue on these issues and to aid policy makers in fully understanding the implications of policy decisions on this population. To guide the LIFE program, a Steering Committee was also created.
To guide LIFE activities and ensure that that the LIFE program meets its goals, the following mission statement has been developed by the LIFE Steering Committee:
- To maintain a forum which attracts a diverse range of parties whose efforts will have an impact on the ability of low-income customers to meet their energy needs.
- To seek, identify, and address the full range of low-income energy issues.
- To broaden participation and encourage involvement of all stakeholders in the energy forum.
- To encourage linkages through the forum to strengthen the understanding of and support for the energy needs of low-income New Yorkers.
- To encourage an interactive exchange of information and collaboration among the programs and resources that helps the State’s low-income households.
- To provide a venue for policy makers to hear of emerging issues from those at the front end of program delivery, identification of best practices, and networking opportunities for those in the low-income energy field.