The agency responsible for levying a statewide surcharge on electricity rates to pay for green energy programs has proposed extending the tax for another decade.
NYSERDA, the state’s energy and research development authority, has raised more than $5 billion since 2008 via the surcharge, according to environmental groups. The money has gone to fund a long list of energy-saving programs, including subsidies for efficient building systems and payments to landlords for every watt of electricity they save when the grid is overloaded.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who controls the agency, is expected to approve the proposal. The money could help buildings in the city, where Mayor Bill de Blasio this week unveiled a plan to to push smaller buildings to become more energy-efficient, as larger properties have in recent years.
The electrical surcharge flows into the state’s Clean Energy Fund, a pot of money available to property owners who want to defray the cost of installing efficient boilers, lighting systems and other energy upgrades.
“NYSERDA is proud to provide long-term funding certainty for the transition to cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy systems,” an agency spokeswoman said in a statement.
The surcharge was set to sunset late next year. Environmental groups had said that threatened to undermine the growth of a green energy industry in the state.
“This new commitment is … a market signal that New York is open for business for renewable and energy efficiency,” said Lisa Dix, a senior New York representative for the Sierra Club. “We want those private-sector dollars here.”
According to Ms. Dix, the state fund has helped support energy-efficiency consultants, engineers, manufacturers and builders. It’s unclear how many property owners have used the assistance and how much money remains in the fund.