Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law this week an omnibus energy package that encourages new investments in electric generating facilities across New York and creates the nation's first statewide "on-bill" recovery program to increase energy efficiency for homeowners and businesses.
Senator Montgomery is a sponsor of the new Power NY Act of 2011 that will create thousands of jobs and set New York on a course of reliable, cleaner energy while strengthening environmental protections.
The Power NY Act establishes a new process for the siting of electric generating facilities and repowering projects. The new law encourages investments in clean power plants and affords communities more opportunities to meaningfully participate in the siting process. After years of gridlock, the measure passed with support from industry, environmental advocates, consumer groups, labor and community organizations.
Additionally, Power NY includes the creation of a historic "on-bill" recovery program that will encourage homeowners and businesses to invest in energy efficiency under the "Green Jobs/Green New York" program. New York is the first state in the nation to create a statewide program of this scale. "On-bill" allows homeowners to take out low-interest loans from NYSERDA for energy efficiency measures, to be paid back on their utility bills. It will help create thousands of green jobs, result in greater energy efficiencies and lower energy bills for homeowners and businesses across the state.
The Power NY Act of 2011:
0 Enacts a new permanent streamlined permitting process for power plants greater than 25 megawatts by creating a "one-stop" multi-agency siting board that will make siting decisions
0 Empowers communities to participate in the process by requiring power plant applicants to provide "intervener funding" for the community affected by the proposed plant to hire experts and lawyers
0 Improves the environment and public health by requiring the siting board to determine whether a proposed facility will create a disproportionate environmental impact in a community and, if so, requires applicant to minimize or avoid those impacts
0 Directs the Department of Environmental Conservation to promulgate emissions standards for carbon dioxide, furthering New York's efforts to address climate change
0 Reduces energy demand by allowing homeowners and businesses to pay back loans for energy efficiency upgrades using a surcharge on local utility bills
0 Creates jobs by encouraging investment in new power plants and energy efficiency retrofits
0 Directs NYSERDA to study potential policy approaches to increasing solar energy development in New York