New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

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NYS Comptroller

THOMAS P. DiNAPOLI

Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
Accounts Receivable Collection and Reporting


Issued: August 05, 2015
Link to full audit report 2015-S-35

Purpose
To determine if the Authority’s accounts receivable collection and reporting procedures were in compliance with applicable laws and regulations for the period January 1, 2012 through June 30, 2015.

Background
The Authority’s mission is to advance innovative energy solutions in ways that improve New York's economy and environment by promoting energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources. These efforts are key to developing a less polluting and more reliable and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers. Collectively, the Authority’s efforts aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, accelerate economic growth, and reduce customer energy bills. Governed by a 13-member Board, the Authority has sought to provide objective information and analysis, technical expertise, and support in New York State since 1975. The Authority is advancing a comprehensive clean energy program portfolio that develops and deploys new and innovative technologies to help New York State meet its energy needs. Its programs are organized into five portfolios, each representing a complementary group of offerings with common areas of energy-related focus and similar objectives. The Authority recently experienced one of the largest increases in third-party billing accounts receivable balances of any State public authority. Between fiscal years 2011-12 and 2013-14, the Authority’s financial statements showed an increase in accounts receivable (third-party billings) from $22.1 million to $135.6 million. At the end of its 2014-15 fiscal year, the Authority’s receivable balance had returned to a more moderate level of $21.7 million.

Key Findings

  • We found that the Authority’s accounts receivable collection and reporting practices are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. As required, the Authority documented their multiple efforts to collect any past due accounts, and referred to the Office of the Attorney General the accounts more than 120 days past due that it was unable to collect.
  • The temporary rise in the Authority’s accounts receivable balance was attributable to a deferred collection schedule established in October 2011 by the Public Service Commission for utility charges associated with its newly enacted Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard 2. Accounts receivable balances have since returned to more traditional levels.

Key Recommendations

  • None

Other Related Audits/Reports of Interest

NYS Energy Research and Development Authority: Contract Award and Performance (2013-S-45)
NYS Energy Research and Development Authority: Selected Aspects of Discretionary Spending (2012-S-157)


State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: John Buyce
Phone: (518) 474-3271; Email: StateGovernmentAccountability@osc.state.ny.us
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236