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News about a company able to successfully take advantage of the state's ReCharge New York program is encouraging.
After all, it's only been a short time since the demise of the program's flawed predecessor - Power for Jobs.
Mayer Bros., a company that makes apple cider and bottled water, recently celebrated the $5,000-a-month savings from the lower-cost electricity it receives through the program.
Unlike the previous Power for Jobs program, which offered only year-to-year allocations, ReCharge New York offers recipients seven-year contracts. Finally, businesses can do long-term planning.
ReCharge, which Sen. George Maziarz, R-Newfane, sponsored, makes all the difference to Mayer Bros. Company officials held a news conference touting the program at its cider mill and store off Transit Road in West Seneca.
The company's enthusiasm is no surprise.
New York has some of the nation's highest electric rates. Mayer Bros. gets about 6 percent of the electricity it uses at its West Seneca and Barker facilities through ReCharge New York. The deal should serve as a model for other companies.
The effort to attract new business was hampered by the failure of Power for Jobs.
A couple of years ago, the effort to improve it got stuck in the usual political bottleneck.
ReCharge New York has provided reduced-cost electricity to 83 businesses in Western New York so far and more than 675 companies and nonprofit organizations statewide. That's an encouraging track record.
The 455 megawatts of electricity previously used by Power for Jobs combined with another 455 megawatts now used to cut residential upstate electric bills by $2 to $4 a month is clearly a proper way to power the state's economy.
Perhaps even more encouraging is the leadership of John R. Koelmel, president and CEO of First Niagara Financial Group and the chairman of the New York Power Authority. The authority administers ReCharge New York, which sends power from the program to companies and organizations that employ more than 25,000 Western New Yorkers and more than 400,000 across the state.
As Koelmel said, "[ReCharge] is a critically important economic-development tool." It's good to have a Western New Yorker at the helm.