4.13.2015

State to hold forums on energy issues impacting low-income communities

ALBANY—The New York State Public Service Commission (Commission) and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced today that the Low-Income Forum on Energy (LIFE) will hold a series of meetings across the State to help address the challenges and opportunities facing low-income consumers as they seek safe, reliable and affordable energy.
 “LIFE provides a critical forum for community leaders and service providers to share essential details that can help low-income New Yorkers afford and maintain their utility service," said Commission Chair Audrey Zibelman.  “The LIFE regional meetings will provide valuable information on the State’s consumer-focused Reforming the Energy Vision (REV), as well as on energy assistance programs designed to help New York’s most vulnerable consumers.” 
“Through the LIFE forums, participants share insights to help low-income consumers meet their energy needs and reduce their energy costs,” said John B. Rhodes, President and CEO, NYSERDA. “These issues are so important that New York State is expanding efforts to improve energy affordability and better engage low-income communities, as part of Governor Cuomo’s comprehensive strategy to create a cleaner, more reliable, affordable energy system in this state."
Under the proposed Clean Energy Fund (CEF), a component of REV, New York State is planning to implement approaches to help increase the adoption of energy efficiency and clean energy in low-income communities by addressing barriers that have limited access to capital and market solutions. Low-income communities are also expected to benefit from Community Solar NY, which makes solar easier and more affordable through “Solarize” campaigns, locally-organized community outreach efforts aimed at getting a critical mass of area homes and businesses to install solar.

The seven LIFE regional meetings provide an opportunity for frontline workers, community-based organizations, advocates, and policy makers to meet and network with those who share the same commitment to helping low-income energy customers.
 The schedule for this year’s regional meeting series is as follows:
April 29 - Con Ed Auditorium, Manhattan
April 30 - Holiday Inn Plainview, Plainview
May 5 - Ramada Watertown, Watertown
May 6 - Embassy Suites Saratoga Springs, Saratoga Springs
May 12 - Holiday Inn Buffalo-Downtown, Buffalo
May 13 - Radisson Hotel Corning, Corning
May 19 - Best Western Plus Kingston Hotel and Conference Center, Kingston
LIFE is the nation’s longest running statewide dialogue on the energy needs of low-income customers and has built a reputation as an interactive exchange of ideas and resources. This year’s Regional Meetings will build on lessons learned in prior LIFE conferences and forums and will feature updates on the Public Service Commission’s Reforming the Energy Vision initiative and NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Fund. The Meetings will feature presentations on emerging energy issues, best practices, consumer protections, and information on some of the resource programs that assist low-income energy customers. In addition, there will be opportunities to network with other professionals working in the low-income energy field.

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