- New York's Public Service Commission (PSC) has filed to create a new Clean Energy Fund to replace the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), designed to help boost renewable energy in the state to 30% of total generation by 2015.
- The state's ambitious RPS has so far failed to produce results: Less than half of the 30% renewables-by-2015 target had been met by the end of 2013.
- When the RPS expires, the Clean Energy Fund will effectively bridge the RPS and Governor Andrew Cuomo's planned Green Bank, which will fund $1 billion of investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects in the state and is set to start in 2020.
The Clean Energy Fund is seen as part of the transition between the state's current energy programs and Governor Cuomo's ambitious Reforming the Energy Vision proposal.
The RPS's main purpose is to use ratepayers' fees to pay for incentives to encourage more renewable energy generation and energy efficiency programs. The state wants to move away from charging customers fees on top of their utility bill. The Green Bank, once funded, will act as a kind of state-run investment bank for renewable energy projects.
The Clean Energy Fund will already equate to a smaller fee on rate payers' bills, declining year over year until 2020 -- when the Green Bank should be fully funded. Like the RPS, the new Clean Energy Fund will be paid for by state rate payers. The RPS currently equates to a $4 average fee on customers' utility bills.