I’ve been getting a lot of questions about New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Initiative. While a thorough overview would be more of a book than a blog post, I’ve assembled some highlights for you. Here are answers to 5 key questions I’ve been getting.
1. What is it? Major utility reforms, divided into two tracks, or areas of focus.
The first track transitions utilities into multi-directional, smart platforms, called Distribution Service Platforms, or DSPs, which enable development of a smart grid that supports efficient energy and efficient transactions.
The second track is focused on making regulations that align utility profits with the DSP model and with the State’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.
2. Why is it important? New York State understands the UPS Store analogy.
Utilities should be able to provide services and make profits from those services. While New York State does not go as far as allowing the utilities to own Distributed Energy Resources (like solar on ratepayers’ roofs), it does support more diverse service offerings from utilities.
3. Is everyone on board? In principle, yes. Practically speaking, there is some tension.
One of the largest sources of tension has to do with the speed at which eventual reforms will come. The utilities are advocating for small, incremental changes to provide more certainty. Governor Cuomo’s administration wants to make large, meaningful changes while they have the opportunity.
4. What’s next? The next milestone to watch is December 1, 2016.
December first is the deadline for utilities to submit their overall system efficiency proposals to the Public Service Commission.
5. Who’s At The Party? There are about 200 parties on the docket.
If you are not one of the 200, make sure you’re at least keeping current with opportunities to become involved. As there are already demonstration projects being rolled out, it’s not too soon to be positioning your product or service. Want some guidance? Let’s talk.