Sen. Foley Discusses Legislation to Expand Clean Energy Credits

Senator Brian X. Foley (D – Blue Point) helped pass major legislation to expand clean energy credits in New York State. The legislation (S. 6700) will enable residents to take full advantage of net metering, a program that offers utility bill discounts in exchange for unused power generated through alternative energy sources. The program applies to power generated through wind and solar energy sources.

“Net metering will allow businesses across New York State to access alternative energy more efficiently,” Sen. Foley said. “This legislation will help to stem the tide of rising energy costs and create much needed jobs around the state,” said Sen. Foley, a sponsor of the net metering legislation. “It will help us move towards a greener economy and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels.”

The legislation closes the current loophole in the law, which only allowed residents to be credited for power generated during daytime hours. By encouraging the creation of clean energy throughout the day, the legislation directly increases the supply of energy, which would reduces energy costs.  

The bi-partisan bill passed unanimously in the senate. “This legislation will be a win-win for both businesses and the environment ,” Sen. Foley said. Under the bill, municipalities and farmers will also be eligible to participate in net metering programs.

To maximize the number of businesses and individuals who can benefit from the program, the legislation sets limits on how much they can be charge to connect their renewable energy system to the grid.

“This legislation broadens access to solar installation for all customers including businesses and municipalities throughout New York State and will help accelerate our renewable energy revolution,” said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of the Citizen’s Campaign for the Environment said Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment. “Congratulations to Governor Paterson, Senator Foley and the NYS Legislature for a pro-consumer, pro-business and pro-earth policy,’

"Passage of this net metering legislation is another step towards our energy independence," said Shawn Kilmurray, Board Chair, Long Island Sierra Club. "As an organization that advocates for green energy, we commend Sen. Foley for helping to pass this crucial legislation. We urge Gov. Paterson to sign it into law as soon as possible."

"By removing restrictive limits on the size and categories of solar installations that can be net metered, this legislation will help develop the solar industry in New York State, greatly increasing the production of clean energy and creating green jobs,” said Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College. “This fix to the net metering law is particularly important here on Long Island, where it will help the region become a leader in clean, renewable energy.”