The Right To Solar Power For New Yorkers

Governor Cuomo

Community solar power faces many challenges in New York by corporate utilities and compromised policy-makers. OUR VISION is to make solar power available to every New Yorker regardless of income or zip code. Sign our petition to share our policy vision with Governor Cuomo.

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To: Governor Cuomo
From: [Your Name]

Dear Governor Cuomo:

Community renewable energy must be available to all.

We, the undersigned, ask that you push back against corporate utilities that are trying to stop communities from developing their own community solar programs, keeping solar power out of reach for the nearly half of New Yorkers who rent their homes. Community solar in New York has been stymied by the utility-centric Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) policy, which has already blocked nearly $1 billion in local community solar investment across New York and deprived tens of thousands of households from the right to choose renewable energy. We ask that you ensure that everyday New Yorkers, who foot a large portion of the bill for the state’s renewable energy programs, can access and benefit from shared renewable energy. We need a solar policy that includes underserved communities, that expands affordable clean energy production, that safeguards the livelihoods of the 9,000 New Yorkers already employed in the solar industry and ensures affordable training to enable further participation in the solar economy.

We call on you to expand community clean energy in New York by taking the following measures:

• Support community renewable energy projects by offering the tried-and-tested “net metering” compensation mechanism while fixing the current disastrous VDER (Value of Distributed Energy Resources) policy for valuing solar energy

• Invest at least 40% of state funding for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in low-income communities and communities of color, and ensure these communities are able to benefit from these projects via programs like NYSERDA’s “Solar for All”

• Mandate the Clean Energy Fund, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and the NY Green Bank develop medium and long-term community benefits over short-term profits for bankers, and create mechanisms for democratic control of these funds, via policies such as the Community and Climate Protection Act

• Require NYSERDA to direct any funds from the Clean Energy Fund away from fossil fuel projects or nuclear power, and propose that NYSERDA instead direct this funding toward community owned renewable projects across New York to keep energy dollars and control over our energy system in local hands.

• Allow community renewable energy projects to also maximize benefits through energy efficiency.

• Reject proposals for new investor-owned utility-controlled community renewable projects and provide support for communities to take ownership over their energy planning and their local energy system and assets.