White Plains, NY — The Westchester County Board of Legislators is urging the state to make it easier for communities to provide residents with local solar energy options and to ensure that New York will be a leader in new, green energy jobs.

Leg. Kitley S. Covill (D - Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers), joined by all 16 other Legislators, asked the New York State Public Service Commission to remove a barrier to the growth of community distributed solar energy by simplifying how residents are billed for it.

Currently, when communities participate in Community Distributed Generation (CDG) projects -- like building or buying local solar power -- the state requires that customers get two separate power bills: one traditional utility bill and a separate bill for the power that comes from the CDG power provider. Lawmakers say this dual billing requirement is confusing and an obstacle to the adoption of community solar and scaled-up local renewable energy production.

Covill said, "Advancing the adoption of renewable energy sources, like community solar, is crucial to protecting our environment and to ensuring that the state meets its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 85% by 2050. It is also important to make sure that we develop new green energy jobs in our local communities. Adopting consolidated billing will remove one of the biggest barriers to the growing adoption of renewable energy Westchester and all of New York State."

Leg. Nancy Barr (D – Harrison, Port Chester, Rye Brook), chair of the Board’s Environment, Health and Energy Committee, said, “Expanding our use of solar energy and other renewable sources is crucial to a sustainable future for Westchester, New York State and the world. We should be encouraging, not discouraging, the development of sources like community solar, and removing the state requirement for separate billing will remove a discouraging barrier. I hope the PSC acts soon to allow consolidated billing.”