Share this article

print logo

Letter: New York should encourage solar energy usage programs

New York should encourage solar energy usage programs

The summer has definitely arrived and our air conditioners are stretched to their limits. Though my utility has given me lots of tips on how I can help reduce the burden on the electric grid, one thing they haven’t encouraged me to do is go solar.

That’s too bad. A new report from Environment New York shows that even a few homes and businesses putting up solar panels benefits all electric customers by reducing demand and providing electricity at the height of the day when we need it most. Because of benefits like these the total value of solar power is about 17 cents per unit, compared to an average retail rate for electricity of 12 cents, according to the report.

And right now, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) is considering establishing a program, called Community Net Metering, to allow expanded access to clean energy.

Following through on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s commitment to expand access to renewable energy, the PSC is working to establish an innovative program that would empower low-income families, renters and millions of other New Yorkers to choose solar. The program would allow energy customers to subscribe to a local renewable energy project and receive a utility bill credit for their portion of the energy produced.

Solar power provides enormous benefits to consumers and society. We should make sure to keep encouraging it here in New York.

Heather Leibowitz

Director, Environment New York