Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA)

Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development (SASD) applied to the New York Energy Democracy Alliance (EDA, web site HERE) for membership and was accepted in the Fall of 2016. EDA is a New York statewide organization of 24 member organizations working toward a more equitable, sustainable and renewable energy system in our state. A member of SASD’s Board of Directors, is appointed as liason from SASD to EDA. EDA’s frequent telephone meetings keep us updated on activities within EDA, outreach by EDA member organizations to elected NY State leaders and responses to actions of NY State agencies. To learn more, email sasdonline@gmail.com.


Right to Efficiency and Right to Solar: modeling the changes EDA wants to see

From numerous ideas, diverse methods of communicating, and frequent state-wide calls among member organizations, EDA stays visible to the PSC, especially when its decisions do not help grow clean renewable energy generation. EDA always keeps at the forefront of actions its principles of energy efficiency, conservation, climate resilience, public or community owned or controlled renewable energy assets. Victories of the EDA since its inception in 2014 are listed HERE at the web site. SASD takes part in EDA decisions and actions, and helps push for programs that are beneficial for low- and moderate-income households regardless of a household’s FICO score, utility bill payment history, or upfront capital. In NY, a state where 40% of people are classified as low-to-moderate income, EDA wants 40% of energy efficiency funding to be spent on this group. “Low- and moderate-income households suffer a disproportionate energy burden because many burn traditional, expensive heating fuels or use inefficient equipment to cool old, inefficient houses (rented or owned), leading to above-average energy expenses. Energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies can not only lower energy bills for low- and moderate-income households but are also proven to improve indoor air quality, safety and comfort, thereby positively impacting human health. Energy retrofit projects also improve resiliency to rising energy costs, thereby increasing the ability of struggling families to stay in their home. When hiring locally, these projects also help to shore up neighborhood housing and create local jobs where they are often greatly needed” (credit: https://www.energy.gov/eere/slsc/low-income-community-energy-solutions).


Utility Rates

The EDA’s position is that residential fixed charges in New York are too high and need to be reduced. An independent web site exists to help track efforts to lower fixed charges. High fixed charges reduce the incentive for customers to lower their electricity bills by using less energy or investing in rooftop solar. High fixed charges also disproportionately impact low-income customers, who benefit from lower fixed charges because they typically use less electricity than average. These fixed charges run contrary to the state’s “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV), which seeks to give consumers more control over their energy use and costs. REV is an energy modernization initiative that is expected to fundamentally transform the way electricity is distributed and used in New York State. Legislation is pending in NY to lower the fixed charge portion of utility bills. Meanwhile, NYSEG-RGE utilityies opened a Rate Increase Case on May 20, 2019 at the Public Service Commission. The proceedings are likely to continue for 11 months.