In response to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s announce yesterday of $3.6 million in funding to help bring solar energy to low- and moderate- income communities, the New York Energy Democracy Alliance has the following statement:
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for taking action to help make solar energy more accessible for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers. For economic, environmental, and social justice reasons, it’s critical that we make bringing clean energy to these communities a priority.
As Gov. Cuomo pointed out in his announcement, affordable housing providers and community organizations are critical partners in helping to remove barriers to making solar energy more accessible to low- and moderate- income communities. They have an astute understanding of the barriers that exist, and are well positioned to help remove them if the right policy measures are put into place.
We look forward to working with Governor Cuomo and the Public Service Commission to ensure that other upcoming policy decisions – including decisions related to the value of distributed energy resources – go even further in bringing affordable clean energy to all New Yorkers, particularly low- and moderate-income communities. Arriving at a fair and equitable value for solar energy will help maximize the benefits of the new funding resources announced yesterday.”
Community Shared Solar case studies reveal gaps and opportunities
Read the CoShare case studies on community shared solar here to learn about the status of community shared solar across New York. community-solar-case-studies
Energy Democracy Alliance shocked and disappointed by report dismissing ideas for low-income shared solar access
August 16, 2016 – The New York State Energy Democracy Alliance responds to the Public Service Commission’s release of its long-awaited report on making shared solar energy accessible to all New Yorkers. Read the statement here.
The NYEDA is asking the state to move rapidly to provide the necessary support so that all New Yorkers can benefit from Community Shared Solar. Read the Op-Ed in the Albany Times Union: Shared Renewables Op-Ed
The Energy Democracy Alliance is a collaboration of community-based organizations, grassroots groups, and others who are working together to advance a just and participatory transition to a resilient, localized, and democratically controlled clean energy economy in New York State. (Read our mission and principles of unity.)
Our work is currently focused on building public participation and influence in a major overhaul of state energy policy being pursued right now by New York Governor Cuomo, the New York Public Service Commission, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The policy overhaul is taking place through a number of initiatives driven by the Public Service Commission. These include:
Reforming the Energy Vision — an overarching proceeding that will change the rules for utility companies, determine who has access to and ownership over New York’s energy resources, and create new markets for distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar, small-scale wind, energy efficiency, demand response, microgrids and other small generators (including diesel and gas). Read more.
Clean Energy Fund — an initiative to decide how much money the state will collect on utility bills to put toward clean energy subsidies and programs and to determine what those programs will look like. This is the first major rethinking of these policies since the state established a Renewable Portfolio Standard and an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard. The current proposals would reduce state support for subsidies and programs in favor of market approaches. Read more.
Community Net Metering — an expansion of solar access to those who cannot install solar on their own roofs. In 2015, the Public Service Commission enabled shared renewables for the first time in New York. Now we are fighting to ensure that the state sets ambitious goals for low-income participation in shared solar. And we are working to help communities own shared solar installations. Read more.
Energy Affordability for Low Income Utility Customers — a proceeding to establish best practices and uniform utility-bill discounts for low-income customers to address the dramatic increase in utility shutoffs and late payments. Read more.
Community Choice Aggregation — a proceeding initiated at the request of sustainable energy activists in the Hudson Valley to enable municipalities to take control over their energy choices. Read more.
Together these proceedings will determine much of the course of New York’s energy future, including how and whether the state will successfully transition to a sustainable energy system. If you would like to find more about any particular proceeding, click the links above. The Energy Democracy Alliance is actively engaging in all of the above proceedings in order to advocate for public participation, environmental sustainability, consumer protections, energy affordability and racial and economic equity. To join our efforts, click here.