New York Governor Pushes Utility Reforms


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to see more renewable energy in his state’s utility mix, and is pushing for specific reforms to local energy providers to get there. The reforms would require the integration of energy efficiency, solar, wind, and other clean energy technologies onto the grid in order to reduce energy bills and give customers more control over their energy use.

Most specifically, the changes will require energy providers in New York to use local renewable energy resources, building on a broader move in the Northeast to improve the renewable energy mix in the region. As CivSource reported last week Governors in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are all coming together on a joint renewable energy initiative.

The proposed reforms would restrict utilities from owning local power generation and other energy resources in order to foster competition, and give a boost to local renewable energy projects. The package also includes expanded outreach and consumer protection provisions aimed at low and moderate income residents, as well as requirements for utilities to improve their energy efficiency programs.

The Governor says the reforms are needed because the industry needs approximately $30 billion over the next decade to maintain the grid. That $30 billion will come entirely from New York’s electric customers, and he wants to see more sustainable options enter in. “Further, as extreme weather events continue to affect communities across our state, it is becoming increasingly clear that meaningful action to mitigate and adapt to climate change is a necessary policy for any responsible state government,” he said in a statement.

The Governor added that the proposed reforms were the result of over 1,000 public comments from local residents and lawmakers.

“A 21st century economy needs a 21st century power grid, and these reforms will ensure New Yorkers get the best possible service from their utilities while improving the statewide economy,” said Governor Cuomo.