New York Clean Energy Standard

Can half of New York’s energy supply come from renewable sources? Adoption of solar can help New York state reach the goal.

New York’s Clean Energy Standard: What It Is and What It Means to New York Residents

New York’s Clean Energy Standard (CES) is the state’s “50 by ‘30” goal: 50 percent of all electricity used in New York State by 2030 should be generated from renewable energy sources, including solar, land-based and offshore wind power, and hydropower. Born from the 2015 State Energy Plan (SEP), the goal is driving the state to fight climate change, reduce harmful air pollution, and ensure a diverse and reliable low carbon energy supply.

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo directed the Department of Public Service to develop CES to convert the SEP metrics to mandated requirements to ensure achievement of those targets.  After years of focusing on the 2004 Renewable Portfolio Standard, which looked to a renewable energy target of 25% by 2013, New York’s Public Service Commission officially adopted the Clean Energy Standard in 2016 and is now tasked with overseeing the plan.

New York’s clean energy goals for 2030 include:

  • 40% Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels;
  • 50% Generation of New York State’s electricity must come from renewable energy sources; and,
  • 23% Decrease in energy consumption of buildings from 2012 levels.

According to Governor Cuomo, “solar is critical” to reach the “50 by ’30” goal. With solar power being inexhaustible and fully accessible, a high adoption rate can lead to significant gains towards the goal.

Steps are being put in place to make solar easily accessible, including solar energy sharing programs like community solar. NRG Community Solar allows homeowners to support renewable energy production without the requirement of solar panel installation or property maintenance.  NRG also serves the commercial marketplace and was just named one of 2017’s Top Players in US Commercial Solar, in part due to its community solar programs.

Here are some steps you can take today to help lower greenhouse emissions and to help the state achieve “50 by ‘30.”

  • Get a home energy assessment to find out how to eliminate energy waste and overuse. Apply for Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® for financial assistance in making energy efficiency improvements.
  • Reduce energy consumption by turning off lights and by setting home thermostats at the most manageable temperatures for your health and safety, ranging from 66 degrees in winter, up to 78 degrees in the summer. Find out more about cost and energy savings with thermostat settings from the S. Dept. of Energy.
  • Purchase a new plug-in electric car and receive a point-of-sale rebate of up to $2,000 through Charge NY’s Drive Clean Rebate.
  • Go renewable as soon as possible! Find out more through your New York solar provider.

Additional Resources