Joint Proposal Advances Utility Efforts to Achieve Climate Targets in New York

EDF statement from Rory Christian, Director, New York Clean Energy and N. Jonathan Peress, Director, Energy Market Policy

September 21, 2016
Debora Schneider, (212) 616-1377, dschneider@edf.org

(NEW YORK, NY – September 21, 2016) Over 22 parties, including Environmental Defense Fund, the Department of Public Service Staff, Con Edison and other environmental advocacy groups, filed today a joint proposal with the New York Public Service Commission (PSC). The proposal recommends the settlement of a rate case in order to set new rates for gas and electric service for the next three years brought forward by Con Edison, New York’s largest utility, earlier this year.

 

With a view toward reducing electricity demand at peak times and generating savings for the utility and its customers, the proposal builds on Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), the state’s initiative to create a more robust and efficient energy system. It also helps New York get closer to its targets under the State Energy Plan, mainly to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent and energy usage in buildings by 20 percent by 2030. To become effective, the proposal has to be approved by the PSC.

 

Under the agreement, Con Edison is expected to:

 

  • Implement a customer engagement plan to educate consumers about its smart meter deployment and associated benefits. The plan paves the way for greater customer access to meaningful energy data, empowering families and businesses with the information needed to cut pollution and control their electricity use and utility bills.
  • Offer a new standby tariff exemption to commercial customers who generate their own electricity from highly efficient and low-polluting combined heat and power systems, and to battery storage that will facilitate the adoption of renewable energy.
  • Increase the number of energy efficiency programs throughout its service area. Con Edison will be rewarded for the programs’ success. In addition, Con Edison’s shareholders will have an opportunity to be rewarded for energy savings other than those connected to a particular utility program.
  • Minimize harmful methane leaks across Con Edison’s gas pipeline system through improved, robust leak detection and repair programs, and efforts to consider enhancements to the prioritization of its leak repair and pipe replacement programs. 

 

“Giving customers greater control over their energy use and costs is key to making New York’s electric system cleaner, more efficient and more reliable. This proposal shows Con Edison’s commitment to energy efficiency and other REV goals, setting the stage for other utilities across the country to embrace market-based opportunities, engage in collaborative solutions, and play a significant role in helping states transition toward a clean energy economy.” 

 

 

  • Rory Christian, Director, New York Clean Energy, Environmental Defense Fund 

 

“Gas leaks are a routine issue for natural gas utilities, where public safety must always be the priority. But leaky pipes also harm the climate. Methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, is a powerful pollutant over 80 times more damaging than carbon dioxide in the first 20 years. Con Edison has shown it understands the importance of reducing methane emissions with the changes it is planning, offering a model for others to follow.”

 

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