The New York State Public Service Commission is supporting Earth Day celebrations by participating in several consumer events throughout the State. The 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day celebration highlights the Commission's continued commitment to environmental awareness.
"Energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy are critical elements in New York's economic security and energy policies," said Commission Chairman Garry Brown. "We are making sizable investments to support the continued growth of a clean energy economy and help New York meet Governor David Paterson's goals of achieving 45 percent of our energy needs through renewable energy and improved energy efficiency by 2015. The targeted investments will enable New York to take control of its energy future."
In support of the State's clean energy economy, the development of renewable energy sources helps provide immediate alternatives to transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels, with numerous environmental, economic and societal benefits to consumers.
New York is nationally recognized for its investments in clean renewable energy technologies. To date, 39 projects have been selected under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program representing more than 1,532 megawatts of renewable capacity. These include 14 wind farms, 19 hydroelectric facility upgrades, one landfill-gas project, three power plants that will partially displace coal with biomass, and two power plants that will use 100 percent clean renewable biomass. Under RPS, more than $1.9 billion will be invested to construct the New York-based renewable generation facilities awarded contracts.
The Commission has put in place new energy efficiency programs that will help reduce New York's electricity usage by 15 percent of forecast levels by 2015, with comparable results in natural gas conservation. These programs are designed to entice homeowners, business owners, commercial building owners and manufacturers to make energy efficiency investments, such as purchasing energy efficient furnaces and energy efficient hot water heaters, and install energy efficient lighting systems. More than $950 million is being made available through 2011 and beyond to accomplish the goal.
A significant portion of the funding is being made available to the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA) for customer incentives related to its residential and commercial electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs. Information regarding NYSERDA's energy efficiency programs can be found by visiting the www.NYSERDA.org Web site. Additionally, major electric and gas utilities will also offer customer incentives for participating in energy efficiency programs. For more information about energy efficiency programs, please go to www.askpsc.com.
The Commission is committed to ensuring that all customers have access to reliable electricity by helping consumers use and choose energy supply wisely. One of the benefits of New York's competitive market is that consumers now have access to information that enables consumers to take into account the environmental impacts of the energy supply purchased. As a result, Green Power service providers are now offering a variety of renewable energy service options. For a list of renewable energy suppliers, visit the Commission's consumer www.askpsc.com Web site and select "NY's Green Power Program."