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Electric bill hike coming

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At a Dec. 5 village hall meeting, village officials announced they are purchasing more than $686,000 in zero emission credits in 2017 as mandated by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, or NYSERDA.

Village Administrator Kathleen Murray said the village believes this purchase will translate into a $5 to $8 monthly hike in electric costs for residential customers and a $19 to $38 increase for commercial customers. The increases are scheduled to take effect in March 2017.

The credits, which fund the state’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions, are mandatory according to Administrator Murray. She described NYSERDA’s regulations as “aggressive” and “expensive,” but said the village had to comply with them.

Because the village produces a portion of its own power, it is considered a load service entity and must purchase the credits.

Each zero emission credit is intended to fund and supply 1 MW of zero emission electricity. In this case, it will go towards subsidizing upstate nuclear facilities.

NYSERDA has determined that Rockville Centre’s Department of Electric Utilities must purchase more than 39,000 credits at a cost of $17.54 per ZEC. The number of credits to be purchased was set as a percentage of the village’s total power output for the previous year.

The Authority is also requiring that the village purchase renewable energy credits for the purpose stimulating market penetration of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

For 2017, NYSERDA is mandating the village pay .035 percent of its total power output at $21.16 per REC. This translates into 80 credits for a total cost of $1,692. The purchase will not affect customer electric bills in 2017, but the percentage of the village’s total power output that must be purchased in RECs will increase to 4.8 percent by 2021 and will continue to rise until 2030.