Mandatory Low Income Alternative Energy Option

January 27, 2010


If a prospective low income customer of a utility in New York applies for a line extension, the utility will conduct a cost-benefit analysis on whether alternative energy would be cheaper than extending the lines to that property. If the owner agrees to the alternative energy option then the utility is obligated to pay the equivalent of the line extension for that customer's alternative energy system on their primary residence. Department staff reviews the application made by the utility and determines an appropriate resolution if the customer does not agree to alternative energy sources. Prospective customers should apply for the low income Home Energy Assistance Programs (HEAP) online, by mail, or in person at social services offices. In addition, customers should mail a written request to join the utility's low income program, which they will report quarterly to the Department of Public Service. The utility is only obligated to pay up to the amount that would have been paid for extending electric lines to the property.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: New York
Incentive Type: Line Extension Analysis
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (Small)
  • Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Availability: Customer must be enrolled in the Home Energy Assistance Programs as an applicant for service to a primary residence.
Requirements: Utility must propose plans for alternative energy service and pay for that service up to the amount that they would have paid for extending electric lines to that residence if that option is less costly than extending the electric lines.
Service: Cost-benefit analysis and payment for a portion of that customer's alternative energy system.


Name: NY CRR Public Service, Title 16 Article § 98.2
Date Enacted: 10/06/1993 (subsequently amended)

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.