On June 22, 2011, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Power NY Act of 2011 (Act) that will help homeowners make energy-efficiency upgrades and streamline the siting process for new power plants that generate more than 25 megawatts.
Loans for the Homeowner
Homeowners can borrow up to $13,000 for energy-efficiency upgrades and small businesses can borrow up to $26,000. The loan is to be paid back through a surcharge on the monthly utility bill. The program is cost-effective because the surcharge will be less than the energy savings after upgrades. The source of the initial funds will be some of the revenue from New York State’s auctions for the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the nation’s first regional greenhouse gas cap-and-trade program.
Streamline Power Plant Approvals
The Act also establishes a seven-member permitting board for power plant siting that could bypass some of the layers of regulation for faster approval. The panel will provide permits for power plants generating greater than 25 megawatts.