Assemblywoman Sandy Galef recently introduced A.7979, which would amend the public service law, allowing public schools and libraries to obtain Net Energy Metering (NEM) for their solar electric generating systems. The bill passed the Assembly yesterday, June 5, 2006, and was delivered to the State Senate. S.1285 is also sponsored in the State Senate by Senator Carl Marcellino, an identical bill to A.7979.
Net Energy Metering is a program designed to benefit individuals who generate their own electricity. To qualify, a client must produce energy from an electric generating system using a solar generating system. Currently, NEM is only available to residential units and farm waste electric generating systems.
“Given the high costs of electric service, it makes good fiscal sense to allow public schools and libraries to participate in net energy metering,” said Galef. “This would give them a financial incentive to invest in solar electric generating systems.”
This legislation would also allow the electric utility to charge public schools and libraries that participate in the NEM up to $3,000 for the cost of any transformers that are needed for their NEM.
“With the cost of electricity continuing to skyrocket, we need to encourage the use of renewable power,” said Marcellino, sponsor of S.1285 in the Senate. “By allowing schools to utilize solar panels and giving them the ability to sell excess electricity back to utilities, we are using common sense, to deal with our schools’ power needs. This approach will ultimately help our property taxpayers by lowering some costs associated with educating our children without cutting programs or services.”
This legislation now has been assigned to the Senate Committee on Rules, where both Galef and Marcellino hope it will be favorably reported to the Governor.