Green flight: Energy fund leaves city
Con Edison clients in New York have been billed for $342 million since 2004 to subsidize renewable energy. But less than 1 percent of that money — $ 8 million — has been used for area green electricity projects, the Spanish-language daily reports.
New Yorkers pay about $1 monthly for the “Systems Benefits Charge/Renewable Portfolio Standard” fund, according to the newspaper. Some 38 percent of the $901 million has been used to build an earth-friendly electric plant in Pennsylvania, and water turbines in Quebec, Canada.
Manhattan President Scott Stringer said that these projects do not go against the principle of the fund, which is to create green energy. But he said that these other areas have had significant economic growth, and told the paper that these subsidies “must get to the city.”
“New Yorkers really got stiffed,” he told the paper. “Incredibly, this money hasn’t just been taken out of the city, but used to create jobs in other states and countries.”
Stringer said that arguments that the city does not have space for green projects is silly.
“Projects like solar energy would be adequate for the city, because we’re a city of roofs,” he told El Diario.
Rafael Zorrilla, a Con-Ed customer, told the newspaper that he reviews his bill every month, but is still mad that the state is using the fund to pay for renewable energy products elsewhere.
“If we’re contributing 40 percent, we need to get more in return,” he said.
Martha Garridio, a Bronx resident, told El Diario that she didn’t even know the charges existed.
“The President of Manhattan is right. If we’re not getting anything, they need to stop taking our money for this fund.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 18, 2011