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Low-income advocates want say in energy plan

Aug 05, 2015 12:04 am
Scott Waldman is reporting at Capital New York advocates claim low-income people are being shut out of the state’s process of reforming the energy grid. The state Public Service Commission is in the process of remaking the state’s energy grid to make it more efficient and more reliant on renewables. Low-income advocates are concerned that simply adding renewable sources could drive up energy bills and shut out poor communities. PSC chair Audrey Zibelman has repeatedly said the state will prioritize the needs of low-income community as it remakes the energy grid as part of the Reforming Energy Vision initiative. But at a meeting last week, the input largely came from utilities and larger advocacy groups not from low-income people. A spokesperson for Alliance for a Green Economy said the REV low-income proceeding does not address the growing unaffordability crisis faced by the state’s neediest residents, some of whom spend about 40 percent of their income on utility bills. Advocates are calling on the state needs to hold a series of public hearings at accessible locales across the state. They recommend that now is the time to reach out, as ideas become policy. Read the full story at Capital New York.