Energy Efficiency Initiative Launched by New York State

Times Square at Night

photo by Scott Beale / Laughing Squid

If I ever have to give a quip on what's the most effective way to solve our collective energy problems, I often answer with "We have to do more with less, and doing with less, period." It may not be the flashy high tech answer people seem to want to hear but in my opinion seems to be the most sound way to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and increase the ability of renewable energy to have an impact.

A new announcement today by the State of New York Public Service Commission shows that they too have gotten this message. The Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) is an energy efficiency program which hopes to reduce energy usage by 15% of projected levels by 2015. It is expected that New York's energy usage will be 11% higher than current levels by that time.Short-term costs to consumers yield long-term savings
The program requires utilities to begin collecting additional System Benefits Charges (currently 30-90 cents per month) from consumers from October 2008, a total of $172 million annually, which will be used to fund energy efficiency programs. It is hoped that when fully funded that the program will bring $4 billion in benefits to consumers through these programs and the jobs creating in implementing them. Consumers will see the benefits by 2011, when electric bills are expected to be 2.1-4.1% lower.

In its press release, the Commission emphasized reducing demand (especially peak demand) as critical for this program to be effective. Doing more with less and doing with less.

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