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Policy Objectives

System Benefits Charge

The System Benefits Charge (SBC) program funds technology and market development (T&MD) activities relevant to the energy system. The PSC uses SBC to support research and development efforts that serve as a feeder of new technologies to be incorporated into the state’s energy-efficiency and renewable energy programs. NYSERDA implements the program under the PSC's supervision. When the program was reauthorized by the PSC in 2011 through 2017 it was estimated that collections from our customers will provide at least $150 million over the five year term of the program. In 2012, $20 million in SBC charges were collected from the company’s electric customers. The program will focus on a number of areas that should provide benefits to our customers, including smart-grid, electric vehicles, advanced clean power system, advanced building designs, and environmental monitoring and evaluation. Like the RPS program, the SBC T&MD program raises concerns of geographic balance in the program's spending. Of particular concern is whether the program addresses the unique needs of electric customers in New York City and downstate. For example, research is needed to identify ways to incorporate the room air-conditioning units relied upon by residential customers in New York City into demand-response programs that currently use central thermostats to control temperatures.