|What does Central Hudson do, and what can I do, to support renewable energy?
Renewable sources are an important element in energy production, and will likely continue to grow as technologies are improved and brought to market.
Central Hudson no longer owns any power generating plants (these were sold to independent companies as part of the state's deregulation plan), and purchases energy on behalf of its customers on the wholesale energy market. This market sells energy based on price, not source of generation (we are informed of the energy mix used to produce the electricity we purchase on behalf of our customers after a period of months, and report this information to our customers twice each year through a series of Environmental Disclosure statements inserted in bills – for more information, click on Environmental Disclosure ; to view the latest statements, click on Statements.
This wholesale market is overseen by the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which matches energy production from all sources of generation to utilities, marketers and others to meet the state's energy demands (the NYISO also oversees the electric generation and transmission system in New York).
Central Hudson was permitted to retain and operate its several small hydroelectric generators here in the Hudson Valley that provide up to two percent of local resident's power needs. We continue to invest in these facilities to keep them in peak operating condition. Renewable power generated at these plants is placed on the electric grid to benefit all of our customers.
Other electric power produced by renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, hydro and biomass, is all included in the energy mix purchased by utilities (in fact, some sources, like wind, are given priority on the wholesale market). These facilities are relatively few – however, their power output is blended with all other sources of generation, and is part of the energy mix delivered to Central Hudson’s customers.
Under the Customer Choice program, Central Hudson’s customers may purchase their electricity from independent suppliers, some of which may offer a renewable energy option. Click on Customer Choice for more information on this program.
Wind energy certificates, or “green tags,” are also available for those who wish to support renewable energy options. These can be purchased directly from independent marketers. For more information on this option, visit www.askPSC.com, and click on “NY’s Green Power Program.”
Qualifying solar and wind systems may operate in parallel with electric grid, and in some cases, surplus electricity may be sent back to the utility. Information on this program is available at www.cenhud.com/dg.
Central Hudson promotes highly efficient geothermal heat pump systems. These systems provide year-round heating and cooling, without the need for chimneys or on-site fuel use, by using the constant temperature located underground. Local schools, businesses, homes and municipalities have all installed these systems to reduce energy use, save on heating and cooling costs, and protect the environment. Rebates are available through Central Hudson and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). For more information, log onto the Geothermal Heat Pump Consortium at www.geoexchange.org. Information on Central Hudson’s program is available at www.CentralHudson.com and NYSERDA’s rebate program at www.nyserda.org.