The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) helps New York in meeting its energy goals of protecting the environment, reducing energy consumption, and promoting the use of renewable energy sources. The “New York State Atomic and Space Development Authority” was reconstituted as the NYSERDA[i]. The NYSERDA was established in 1975.
Initially, the NYSERDA focused its attention on research and development activities, with the goal of reducing the state’s petroleum consumption. Now, the NYSERDA activities have expanded and include: developing and implementing new energy technologies consistent with economic, social and environmental objectives, developing energy conservation technologies, and promoting and assisting special energy projects [ii]. Through its research and development activities, the NYSERDA advances job opportunities, health, general prosperity, and economic welfare of the people of the state.
The powers of the NYSERDA are provided under NY CLS Pub A § 1854. Some of them are[iii]:
1. Conducting, sponsoring, and assisting programs related to the research and development of new energy technologies.
2. Entering into contracts with water distribution companies/agencies to participate in the construction and operation of power generating facilities for the purpose of desalination or distribution of water.
3. Entering into contracts or joint ventures with any power authority/company within New York.
4. Providing services for the use of new energy technologies in the industrial, commercial, medical, scientific, public interest, educational and governmental organizations within New York.
5. Disseminating information on and the use of new energy technologies. The NYSERDA acts as a central repository and clearinghouse for information on all energy and energy resource related matters.
6. Advising the legislature of recommendations for implementing new energy technologies and energy conservation measures. The advice may be provided annually or in such intervals as the NYSERDA deems appropriate.
8. Providing credits or loans for special energy projects. However, the loans/credits will be subject to the conditions put forth by the NYSERDA.
9. Coordinating the state’s administration of any energy or energy resource programs of the federal government
In cooperation with the New York Public Service Commission, (PSC), the NYSERDA manages the New York Energy Smart program. This program offers educative and assistance programs to bring energy efficiency to residential and commercial establishments.
In New York, the PSC regulates the state’s electric, gas, steam, telecommunications, and water utilities. The PSC is responsible for setting rates for utilities. It also ensures that the utilities provide reliable service to the people of New York. The Department of Public Service within the PSC is responsible for ensuring that the people of New Yorke have access to reliable and low-cost utility services.
The activities of the Department of Public Service are carried out by eleven offices. The Office of Electric, Gas and Water is responsible for supervising the operations of electric, gas, steam, and water utilities under the PSC and ensuring that the activities are carried out in accordance with the statutory requirements. The Office of Energy Efficiency and Environment is responsible for developing and conducting the energy efficiency initiatives of the state.
The oil and gas activities in New York are primarily regulated by the Bureau of Oil and Gas Regulation within the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).
[i] NY CLS Pub A § 1852.
[ii] NY CLS Pub A § 1854.