By JENNIFER HILL • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – The county’s Energy Task Force aims to impact state and regional energy policy in the coming months, according to discussions in its meeting last night.
“We’re planning to have a representative from DEC speak about the New York Climate Consumer Protection Act,” said Danny Lapin, an Energy Task Force member and county rep. “How DEC will implement its components of the legislation, how that will affect Otsego County, and other questions.
The 21-member organization, plus 14 technical advisors, will “establish lines of communication” with New York’s Department of Energy Conservation (DEC) and New York’s Public Service Commission (PSC) as well as look at an assessment of businesses’ energy infrastructures done by the Southern Tier 8 Regional Board.
Signed in law last July, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act has a series of goals to reduce the use of carbon-based fossil fuels and lower greenhouse gas emissions and a short timeline to achieve them. By 2030, 70 percent of the state’s electric generation is to be from renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar or hydropower.
Lapin said the Energy Task Force is also interested in building a relationship with the Public Service Commission, especially to monitor a “rate case” NYSEG has brought to the Commission.
“NYSEG is asking the Public Service Commission for permission to increase electric delivery charges to pay for a number of projects,” said Danny Lapin, an Energy Task Force member. “We want to monitor and keep track of NYSEG’s application for that.”
Lapin said some of NYSEG’s proposed projects for the increased charges would pay for include “greater the resiliency of the electrical grid, tree clearing, and some others.”
“The Energy Task Force’s committees will discuss specifics on how we’re going to do that then have another discussion in our next meeting, in November,” Danny added. “But we plan to submit questions and comments to the Public Service Commission on NYSEG’s rate case.”
And the group will also look at results of the Southern Tier 8 Region’s Regional Energy Infrastructure Assessment & Strategy, “a survey of businesses’ energy needs and efficacy of their energy infrastructures” Lapin said.
Southern Tier 8 Otsego will receive anonymous input from businesses, for-profit and nonprofit, for the survey until Sept. 13, which can be found here.