"Hundreds of New York homes are not connected to utility electricity, many because the cost of a line extension is prohibitive," says state Energy Commissioner Francis Murray. "This programme will help pay for cost-effective, renewable resource-powered systems that will bring reliable electricity service into these homes." Such a "one man and his windmill" or PV set-up is not common in the US. To be eligible, a residence must not have been connected to the grid for at least five years and it must be a main home, not a weekend property. Home owners will also be required to keep records of the system operation for two years so state officials can learn more about the concept, says Sheffer. Applications will be accepted from April 1.
The New York State Energy Office is offering $400,000 in matching grants to home owners who do not have electricity. The programme is to encourage the spread of residential renewables generating systems. Matching grants of $10,000 will be offered, and are expected to be awarded to a "handful" of wind systems as well as photovoltaics, solar and micro hydro, says Gary Sheffer of the state energy office.