The New York Energy Democracy Alliance’s ongoing policy priorities include: utility reform; equitable access to clean, renewable energy; energy affordability; community-owned shared renewables; and community choice aggregation. See below for more information.
The Energy Democracy Alliance supports New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) goals of creating a cleaner, affordable, modern and efficient energy system through increased development of distributed energy resources, including rooftop solar, energy efficiency and battery storage.
The Alliance works to challenge utility companies’ power over New York’s energy policy. It pushes for policies that require utilities to act in the public interest, rather than solely in the interest of shareholders. The Alliance also advocates reforming the Public Service Commission to make it more responsible and accountable to the public, on whose behalf it is tasked with regulating utilities and energy companies.
Equitable Access to Clean, Renewable Energy
The transition to a clean energy economy offers a tremendous opportunity to build distributed generation assets and grow wealth in working-class and poor neighborhoods and communities of color. The Energy Democracy Alliance advocates for policies and tools that direct clean energy resources to the communities most in need of energy efficiency and access to renewable energy.
No New Yorker should be forced to choose among basic needs like energy, heat, shelter, medical care, and food. The Alliance works on the ongoing energy affordability crisis, fighting discriminatory and predatory institutional practices that lead to shutoffs.
In 2015, New Yorkers below the poverty line paid 14 to 26 percent of their income for energy utilities including light, heat, and power. The Alliance believes all New Yorkers should pay six percent or less of their income for energy.
Community-Owned Shared Renewables
Shared renewable energy offers the promise of greater access to clean, renewable energy, especially for renters, poor and working-class people, people of color, and community groups. Because not all New Yorkers are property owners, and those who are do not always have suitable property for on-site renewables like rooftop solar panels, shared renewable energy creates more opportunities for people to choose clean, renewable energy.
New York’s energy policy must ensure that shared renewable projects flourish – and that their benefits are accessible to all New Yorkers, regardless of income or zip code.
Community Choice Aggregation
The Energy Democracy Alliance supports community choice aggregation, which uses the buying power of all the residents of a municipality to negotiate lower energy prices and to invest in clean energy.
By allowing municipalities to invest in efficiency and renewables in response to community priorities, community choice aggregation puts energy-planning power in the hands of local communities rather than in the hands of utilitycompanies.