“You Asked” is a series where Earth Institute experts tackle reader questions on science and sustainability. In honor of Climate Week NYC and the Covering Climate Now initiative, we’ll spend the next few weeks focusing on your questions about climate change.
What kind of clean energy options are available to someone who lives in New York?
One option is green tariffs, by which electricity customers in the state can choose from suppliers who offer “100 percent green” power. The sourcing of the green attributes of that power supply makes a big difference in how truly green it is. Other options include investing in energy efficiency upgrades to reduce total energy consumption, or participating in residential demand-response programs, which make the grid more flexible and better able to accommodate more variable renewable generation.
Of course, homeowners can also host a rooftop solar installation through a few different financing options. Alternatively, customers can subscribe to community solar programs. A project in Brooklyn has gotten some press for a mini-grid project with a peer-to-peer marketplace.
It’s also important to note that New York has an aggressive and binding 100 percent clean energy target. That means all New Yorkers will be sharing the costs of clean energy.