In Buffalo, we are blessed with an abundance of fresh water, wind, rapids, sun and the availability of numerous other manmade and natural resources that could help to dictate energy use moving forward.
Unfortunately, with all of these resources, we have not benefitted in the past the way we should have, which is unfortunate. One would think that our proximity to Niagara Falls would allow us to benefit from cheaper hydro-electric. Have we seen a decrease in our utility bills with the advent of windmills on the waterfront? There’s a growing buzz about solar generated electricity in Buffalo, but who will ultimately benefit?
It’s time that we start asking the serious questions regarding Buffalo’s “Energy Vision”.
On Thursday, January 29, 2015, a public hearing will be held at the Buffalo-Erie County Central Library (3pm and 6pm). On that day, the public is invited to discuss how we, as residents of Buffalo and New York State, can voice our thoughts and concerns as they pertain to the future of energy use in the region. It is important to energize public participation when it comes to where our renewable energy sources are coming from, and where they are going. It’s time to create a plan for the short term and the long term.
- What will the state’s renewable energy goals be for the next decade?
- Will competitive markets or subsidies best help the state reach its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals?
- Who will design and oversee the New York’s reformed retail energy system (the public, utility companies, or selected technocrats)?
- Will communities, individuals, competitive businesses or utilities own the state’s renewable energy systems?
- What will be the role of community ownership and community organizing in meeting the state’s energy goals?
- Who will benefit from energy efficiency retrofits and weatherization?
- How and to what extent will the environmental, health and societal costs and benefits of clean energy be incorporated into energy prices?
- What consumer protections will be put in place to protect people from deceptive marketing and predatory lending?
- Will the state ensure energy affordable basic energy service for all?
If you are interested in voicing your thoughts and concerns, consider attending the upcoming hearing. It’s time that the community be a part of the decision making process when it comes to reforming the energy vision.
*The hearing will be held at two different times, at 3pm and 6pm. Prior to each hearing there will be an information session where PSC staff will explain what the REV initiative means for customers and be available to answer questions. For more information on the REV plan and the public hearing, visit Agree New York (Alliance for a Green Economy).