Copper Industry Advocates for Reforming the Energy Vision Initiative for New York State

March 10, 2015


New York State’s Public Service Commission Sought Public Comments on Landmark Energy Reform Initiative That Promotes the Use for Renewables

NEW YORK, NY— The Copper Development Association, Inc. (CDA) supports the New York State Public Service Commission’s (Commission) goal to revitalize the electrical grid and create a more efficient energy system in New York.  When the Commission recently announced a public comment period for the new Renewable Energy Vision (REV) Initiative, CDA ensured that copper was recognized for its integral role in sustainable energy.

“Copper is critical to clean energy systems,” said Zolaikha Strong, Director of Sustainable Energy for the CDA.  “From generators and transformers to cabling and protective devices, copper’s high conductivity compared to other commercial metals (e.g., Cu is 65 percent more conductive than Al) makes it the ideal material to ensure efficient, reliable, and safe transmission and distribution of electricity.”

The Commission’s REV Initiative, announced in April 2014, looks to fundamentally restructure New York’s energy industry.  The goal behind REV is to create cleaner, more affordable, and more efficient uses of energy by increasing development of distributed energy resources – such as, solar, wind, geothermal, and battery storage; therefore, allowing New York’s citizens more choices in how they manage and consume electric energy.

It is well-known that renewable energy sources contribute to a number of societal benefits, including fostering economic growth, improving living standards, saving fossil fuels and reducing CO2 emissions.  However, designing and purchasing energy-efficient products requires a greater understanding of sustainable materials.  Due to copper’s high-quality, long-life, and superior electrical and thermal conductivities, it is the basis for highly-efficient electrical equipment and lower energy losses.

In Strong’s letter to the Commission, she explains that “Adding 1 kg of copper to electrical or thermal systems saves between 100 and 7,500 kg of CO2 emissions and 500 to 50,000 kWh of primary energy use over a system’s lifetime.”  And, “Copper’s conductivity, plus its ability to create high-quality, low-resistant connections is the basis for highly-efficient electrical equipment and lower energy losses.”