Power to the people: New York’s groundbreaking energy reforms to give consumers more control

Before, residents had little control over where their energy came from or how much it cost. That’s because energy distribution traditionally has been a one-way street from a centralized source – the utilities. That meant that utilities set the rates, and when the power plants needed upgrades, we had no choice but to foot the bill.

While solar PV systems have already put the power back into the hands of more than one million customers in the U.S. by supplying their homes and businesses with clean energy while protecting them against rate hikes, the conventional business model offered little incentive for utilities to embrace these new technologies.

We are proud to be New Yorkers, because our state is now leading the way into a future where consumers can take the wheel. The new model, announced by the state Public Service Commission (PSC), is designed to reward utilities for creating value for the consumer with a cleaner, more efficient network that makes use of distributed energy sources – such as rooftop solar systems.

PSC chair Audrey Zibelman explains it like this: “By aligning utility profits with market-enabling activities, New York is encouraging the development of new consumer choices through advances in digital technology and power-saving systems built for private homes and apartments, as well as entire neighborhoods.”

Solar customers already had much to be proud of – after all, they made a smart financial choice while helping the environment. Now, they’re an active part of something much bigger: Solar customers are helping to bring power to the people.


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