New York's distribution utilities face significant challenges: aging infrastructure, declining system efficiency, environmental imperatives, customer interest in distributed energy resources, and flat sales growth—which places upward pressure on rates. Is there a way to realign the incentives facing utilities so that they can profit from, and benefit from accelerating, the spread of new clean, distributed energy technologies?
Recognizing trends in technological innovation and system security, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo established the Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) in March 2015. This new energy initiative includes ambitious clean energy targets, such as:
- 600 trillion Btu in energy efficiency gains, a 23 percent reduction from 2012 in building energy consumption
- 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels
- 50 percent of electricity generation coming from carbon-free renewables.
Throughout the planning process, New Yorkers have been solicited for comments and invited to participate in public hearings. The state also sought technical expertise, engaging the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, as well as DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley, Pacific Northwest, and Brookhaven national laboratories. They serve in an advisory capacity on topics such as grid architecture, advanced metering infrastructure and time-based pricing for small customers, and new strategies to incorporate distributed energy resources in distribution system planning and operations—key elements of DOE’s Grid Modernization Initiative.
When complete, the REV changes will better incorporate renewables and distributed energy resources while also improving consumer choice and affordability. By enhancing demand elasticity and efficiency, advanced energy management products will allow utility customers to better manage their energy consumption toward a cleaner energy future.