NY Clean Energy Standards

wind skyThe Western NY public Clean Energy Standard hearing is scheduled for May 11th, at 6:00PM at the Harlem Road Community Center in Amherst. This is our chance to demonstrate to the Public Service Commission and the Governor that Western NY is ready to for a swift and bold transition to renewable energy.

What: Clean Energy Standard Hearing
When: Wednesday May 11th, 5:30PM (tentative) press event and 6:00pm info session
Where: 4255 Harlem Rd, Amherst, NY 14226

Clean Energy Standard Public Hearing How To Prepare My Testimony 

As you prepare for the Clean Energy Standard Hearing, here are a few important tips:  Use your comments to add the human face to climate disruption.

Express your personal concerns about how climate disruption is threatening the places you care about in your community or the health risks to you and your family/ friends from fossil-fuel

  • Have you been personally affected by the effects of climate disruption?
  • Is a place you love in your community threatened by climate disruption?
  • Do you live near a fossil fuel power plant that emits a lot of pollution? Or in a city with bad air quality?
  • Do you or a loved-one suffer from asthma attacks?
  • Do you work in or know anyone that is employed in the renewable energy industry?

You can bring photos or other visuals to the podium to help you tell your story. Some examples of great visuals from past hearings include:

  • Pictures of a place threatened by climate pollution
  • Children with you at the podium.

Sierra Club has sample talking points on what would help make the Clean Energy Standard a key driver of our transition to renewable energy. Pick one or two facts to frame your personal comments. 

  • Don’t worry about highly technical information
  • Bring a hard-copy of your comments to read from. A rough estimate is that 150 words is 1 minute of speaking time.
  • Limit your comments to approximately 2-3 minutes, feel free to leave written comments if you have more to say

Clean Energy Standard: Suggested Talking Points 

In December 2015, Governor Cuomo directed NY’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to create a Clean Energy Standard, which would mandate NYS to power 50% of it’s electric sector with renewable energy by 2030. This puts New York in line with the existing goal of reducing climate pollution 40% by 2030 The Clean Energy Standard would provide 5-year support for Upstate New York’s nuclear plants.

In early 2016, the PSC put forward a first proposal on the Clean Energy Standard with a goal of finalizing it by mid-year. As part of their stakeholder process they are accepting public comments and will be holding a set of hearings across New York in May.

A key part of getting us to this point is the strong public support for renewable energy demonstrated at the NYS Energy Plan Hearings and Reforming the Energy Vision. Continuing to demonstrate the grassroots support for renewable energy while offering a few simple provisions to strengthen the standard will help ensure that Governor Cuomo and the PSC issue a final clean energy standard that helps cement New York’s transition to renewable energy.

The Clean Energy Standard must:

1. Be Enforceable. New York needs an enforceable Clean Energy Standard that establishes yearly targets for utilities and public energy authorities to purchase renewable each year in order to ensure New York is on track to achieve 50 percent renewable energy by 2030. The Clean Energy Standard should be enforced through “Alternative Compliance Payments” which requires utilities to pay if they fail to purchase enough renewable energy to achieve the yearly target, That money should then be used by the state to invest in renewable energy

2. Include Offshore Wind. Offshore wind is poised to take off in New York, but we need a long-term, large-scale commitment to unlock its massive potential as a renewable energy source. An offshore wind tier would help launch an entirely new industry, with the capacity to power millions of homes, stabilize energy costs, foster locational diversity for renewable energy development, produce millions of dollars in economic investments, spur new economic development and manufacturing opportunities , and create tens of thousands of new jobs statewide.

3. Include energy efficiency targets. As we increase the amount of renewable energy we produce, we also need to decrease the overall quantity of energy we consume. Energy efficiency is often the cheapest means of cutting climate pollution, and strong energy efficiency targets will help save ratepayers money while protecting our environment

4. Apply to the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA). The Clean Energy Standards should apply to all utilities and power authorities, as well as other electricity suppliers. LIPA and NYPA make up more than 20% of the electricity used in New York state and their participation is key to ensuring the 50% by 2030 target.

5. Not Include Nuclear Energy. Nuclear energy is neither clean nor renewable and therefore should be kept completely separate from the Clean Energy Standard. Under no circumstances should nuclear energy be counted toward the State’s 50% renewable energy requirement, nor should any funds for renewable energy be diverted to support New York’s failing nuclear plants.

6. Promote Diverse Clean, Renewable Technologies. In order to achieve 50%, New York will need double renewable energy generation within 14 years and we must use the full range of clean energy technologies. The CES should not be a route to merely importing renewable energy from other states, but should lead to economic development within our state.