The New York Public Service Commission (PSC) has ordered an increase in net-metering caps from 3% to 6%. The measure was part of a series of announcements coming out of the Empire State to bolster its Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) effort to foster solar and other renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies.
Describing the net-metering push as a response to market uncertainty, the PSC also fast-tracked a process to develop an allowance for community net metering for ratepayers who may not be able to install solar on their homes or businesses.
Additional PSC actions under the REV banner include the following:
- Approval of Con Edison's Brooklyn Queens Demand Management (BQDM) program to encourage the deployment of local energy resources in areas that provide value to the electric grid, enable more solar and clean energy capacity, and promote competition;
- Adoption of a resolution to encourage utilities and third parties to propose demonstration projects such as BQDM that exhibit new business models, improve the resilience of the electric distribution system and add local energy resources;
- Establishment of a new proceeding to develop demand response programs and tariffs for electric utilities to encourage peak load reduction, reduced energy and capacity costs; deferral of the need for new generating capacity or transmission and delivery infrastructure; improved overall generator efficiency; and reduced greenhouse-gas emissions; and
- Exploration to allow community choice aggregation of gas or electricity load by municipalities so that they may negotiate with energy services providers to contract for the community's energy supply.
‘These steps will help provide New Yorkers with clean, more affordable and reliable energy while also strengthening New York's energy grid,’ says Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in a statement.
Cuomo says the five steps taken by the PSC in support of the REV initiative should help New York modernize and fundamentally transform its energy system. Among other improvements, the actions are expected to ease restrictions on the deployment of rooftop solar power systems so as to promote local energy usage and improve grid reliability.
‘The energy world is changing, and we are reforming regulatory policies to ensure that all customers benefit from the creation of economically and environmentally sustainable energy markets,’ says Audrey Zibelman, PSC chair, in a statement. ‘With these initiatives, we will maximize the utilization of resources and reduce the need for new infrastructure though expanded demand management, energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed generation and energy storage programs. Our objective is to create market-based, sustainable products and services that drive an increasingly efficient, clean, reliable and consumer-oriented energy industry.’