Suggested REV Comments

Commenting on the REV

Your comment could be kept simple by just asking the PSC to slow down and make the Renewing the Energy Vision process open to the public:

Ask the Public Service Commission to slow the process down and actively seek community input. We know what we need and want in our community – clean, renewable energy produced in a democratic and distributed system.

If you would like to give a more detailed comment here are some suggested topics:

  • The REV needs to include enforceable and robust renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to promote continued development of renewable energy sources. A preferable mandatory requirement would be 50% renewable energy by 2025.
  • The Feed in tariff (FIT) promotes producers of renewable energy, from individual households, small business and farms to large scale industries and municipalities to be involved in the production of electric power. The FIT is an effective way of stimulating renewable energy production, jobs for the economy including installer, manufacturers and maintenance of systems. The REV should include a Feed-in-tariff system.
  • The term ‘clean energy’ must be defined and must exclude methane gas derived from high volume horizontal fracking. While methane may produce only 60% of the CO2 from the burning of coal, methane itself is up to 80 times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 , in the first 20 years of its release to the atmosphere (seeIPCC studies). NASA has found that methane may actually be as much as 105% times more potent a greenhouse gas than CO2 within the same 20 year period.
  • Clean energy should be defined as that produced from renewable sources, i.e. wind, solar and water, including geothermal. Fossil fuels and nuclear should not be described with the word ‘clean’ energy.

Geothermal heats and cools buildings without burning fossil fuels.  Pipes are laid under ground and water flows through them, picking up heat in the winter and putting it back in the summer.  In the winter, the water comes into the building and the heat is extracted and concentrated by a heat pump and spread throughout the building.  In the summer the building is cooled as the heat pump is reversed and cold air is circulated in the building, with warm water being sent back underground where the heat is absorbed.

Geothermal heat pumps are very efficient and only use a little electricity to pump the water and concentrate and circulate the heat.  They’re very inexpensive to operate, but because they involve digging they cost $ to put the system in.

Solar PV and geothermal heating and cooling cost about the same to install on a typical house.  NY provides rebates, tax credits and easy financing for solar but not for geothermal.  Why not geothermal?

We can change that by including geothermal related comments. Here are some suggestions:

  • My gas bills hurt more than my electric bills.  REV needs to make it easy to change from gas to geothermal so my bills can be lower.
  • PUSH Buffalo’s net-zero house on Winter Street shows that geothermal can help us cut our heat bills by going green.  We need REV to give strong support to geothermal.
  • More greenhouse gases in NY come from heating buildings than making electricity.  Why aren’t you focused on heating buildings with clean technology like geothermal heat pumps?
  • We need strong geothermal rebates so folks with low incomes can cut their greenhouse gas emissions and their heating bills with geothermal heat pumps.
  • I want a future where I can own my own energy, and I want to start with a geothermal system to cut my heat bills.
  • REV will be a failure if it doesn’t make it easy for middle and low income New Yorkers to go green and save green with geothermal heating and cooling.
  • Solar PV and geothermal heating and cooling cost about the same to install on a typical house.  NY provides rebates, tax credits and easy financing for solar.  Why not geothermal?