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Letter: Cost-benefit analysis needed for energy plan

Cost-benefit analysis needed for energy plan

If some in Albany get their way, New York’s electricity system could soon radically change.

Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) is a statewide initiative that will overhaul the way energy is generated and distributed. Innovations now being tested – like microgrids that use more localized power generation, and “smart grids” that allow real-time communication between utilities and consumers – are exciting.

The problem is that we have no idea what they will cost, especially if they are expanded statewide.

While REV is supposed to represent a new vision for our state, it is hard to see if there is no transparency or accountability. The REV process does not include detailed analysis of costs and benefits, or specific measures of success. Worse still, there are no protections for ratepayers already suffering from some of the highest electricity bills in the country.

Transforming New York’s energy marketplace can help our consumers and our environment, but only if it is done the right way. We need detailed cost/benefit analysis and a completely transparent process to ensure that REV is not a blind – and expensive – alley.

Arthur “Jerry” Kremer

Chairman, New York Affordable Reliable Electricity Alliance