Keeping costs down also means keeping energy costs down. Energy should be reliable, plentiful, and clean. So going forward, we have put together a two-part program that reduces energy use on the one hand, and increases the production of home grown, renewable energy on the other.
On the demand side, we are committed to “15 by 15,” the most progressive and attainable energy efficiency target in the country, which sets a goal of reducing statewide electricity use by 15 percent from projected levels by 2015. We approach this goal the way a business would, with a requirement that our energy investments produce savings well in excess of the cost of achieving them.
On the supply side, I will again send you a bill to fast-track the building of power plants. And again, I will apply a simple principle: we must get more supply into the grid, but if we are going to fast-track any kind of energy production, it must also help us confront the challenge of global warming.
Technology will help us on both the supply and the demand side. We have the know-how, for example, to reduce costs for homeowners who run appliances at off-peak hours. This is called smart metering. Likewise, we have the technology to allow consumers to generate their own solar or wind power, send excess power directly into the grid and, quite literally, run their meters backwards. As we create and conserve energy, New Yorkers can also save money.
What New Yorkers have since built along the river – the buildings, rails and roads that we see today – recount in bricks, mortar, and steel the story of the four centuries of growth since Hudson’s trip: whaling towns, old steamboat landings, grand railroad bridges, interstate highways, and now Stewart Airport. Each successive generation has added its own sense of possibility. Today, coursing through the heart of our State, the river reveals who we are. We are dreamers, visionaries, environmentalists, and builders of the first order.