Electric utilities are pushing the New York Public Service Commission to make changes to solar customer rates that could prevent New York State from reaching its bold goal to install 6 gigawatts of distributed solar by 2025, enough to power one million homes. In light of the negative impact these rate changes could have, we have organized with the undersigned 36 organizations and solar businesses to send a letter (full text linked here and pasted below) to PSC Chair John Rhodes and Governor Cuomo today, urging them to maintain rates that will help New York achieve its clean energy goals, maintain low-income access to solar, protect solar jobs, support entrepreneurship and modernize the grid.
Full Letter Text:
May 28, 2019
Chairman John B. Rhodes
New York Public Service Commission
90 Church Street
New York, NY 10007
Dear Chairman Rhodes:
Thanks to strong leadership and cutting-edge policies, New York State has become a solar energy success story. Since its inception, the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) and NY-Sun initiatives identified the value of distributed solar and batteries, and the results are in: solar energy has increased more than 1,000 percent since 2011 and energy storage growth is about to take off. All New Yorkers – including urban and rural, homeowners and public housing residents, small businesses and houses of worship – can now benefit from lower electric bills and a more resilient energy system when the next Nor’easter or superstorm strikes.
Smart policies have supported this success to date. However, now that the Commission is reassessing rates for solar customers, we are concerned it could turn back this success. The Public Service Commission’s upcoming decision will either cement the future of the REV initiative and help New York reach its goal to power one million homes with solar by 2025, or it will reverse that progress and threaten thousands of solar jobs across New York State.
We urge the Public Service Commission to maintain rates for solar customers that will:
- Help New York meet its clean energy goals. New York must continue pro-solar policies to meet its ambitious goals of six gigawatts of solar by 2025, enough to power one million homes, and 100% clean energy by 2040.
- Maintain solar access, particularly for low-income and middle class New Yorkers. Solar should be accessible to all. Excessive fees will take New York backwards.
- Protect New York’s nearly 10,000 solar jobs. Rooftop solar is a jobs engine. The largest percentage of solar jobs in America is in rooftop solar installation, which are high-quality jobs that don’t require a college degree and are accessible to all.
- Support clean energy growth and entrepreneurship. Since REV’s inception, many New Yorkers have opened small businesses to help build the grid of the future. A regressive rate change would chill growth, business investment and hiring.
- Help modernize the grid and improve resiliency. Distributed solar and battery systems can keep power running to emergency centers and homes when the grid goes down, making neighborhoods more resilient and safer.
Keeping rooftop solar and batteries affordable and accessible is critical for New York to meet its clean energy goals, create jobs and keep its communities safe during extreme weather. Increasing the deployment of distributed energy resources should continue to be a priority of the Public Service Commission and all New York policymakers who want a clean energy future.
Alliance for Clean Energy New York
Best Energy Power
Brooklyn Solar Works
Built Well Solar
Environmental Advocates of New York
ETM Solar Works
High Peaks Solar
New Yorkers for Clean Power
New York Interfaith Power and Light
New York League of Conservation Voters
New York Solar Energy Industries Association
New York State Solar Farm
Otsego County Conservation Association
Pace Energy and Climate Center
Premier Solar Solutions
Revolution Solar NY
Solar Energy Industries Association
Sunrise Power Solutions
The Alliance for Solar Choice
cc: The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo