As energy efficiency begins to take center stage in federal legislation (the premier example being the Waxman-Markey draft bill currently under consideration in the House), it’s easy to forget that on matters of climate and energy states have long been the leaders in implementing energy efficiency solutions, and utilities have been at the forefront in partnering with regulators and customers to deliver energy efficiency gains. These efforts are really ramping up – even prior to the infusion they stand to receive from the stimulus funds.
A great example of state-level energy efficiency activity was recently announced by the New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC). As part of its Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) proceeding, the Commission has approved a natural gas efficiency equipment program for its nearly 4.3 million residential gas customers. Under this action, more than $24 million will be made available for rebates promoting the purchase and installation of efficient, cost-effective, furnaces, boilers and other equipment. This is great news for consumers, as it will provide a direct financial incentive to improve energy efficiency in their homes – savings that come in addition to the money they will save over time in reduced energy costs.
The action taken by the NYPSC recognizes the important role local utilities will continue to serve in delivering energy savings to residential customers.
The utilities participating in this initiative include Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., Corning Natural Gas Corporation, KeySpan Energy of Long Island, KeySpan Energy of New York, New York State Electric and Gas Corporation, National Grid, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation, and St. Lawrence Gas Company.