Rochester Gas & Electric and its sister company, New York State Electric & Gas, will be allowed to raise their electricity rates slightly over the next three years, but will take steps to move away from natural gas under a modified rate case settlement approved Thursday by state utilities regulators.

Under the rate plan approved by the state Public Service Commission, RG&E customers will see electricity bill increases of roughly 1.6% in the first year, which starts Dec. 1, and roughly 2% in each of the second and third years.

Quick question: how much power in New York State comes from carbon sources? How much comes from wind? How much from nuclear? And how vulnerable is our grid? There are massive questions about how to bring new sources of energy to New Yorkers, and how the grid can -- or can't -- accommodate it.

The New York Times recently published a story about this challenge, and the ways our power arrives at our homes. We explore it with the author and one of her primary sources for the piece:

  • Emily Rueb, New York Times reporter
  • Suzanne Hunt, Hunt Green LLC
  • Jim Gallagher, New York State Smart Grid Consortium


ALBANY (AP) An upstate New York town that repeatedly found itself without power for days during a string of storms is planning a dramatic step - pulling its municipal buildings entirely off the electric grid.

Nassau's decision to rely on solar, wind, landfill gas and battery storage by 2020 puts it on the leading edge of a national campaign to develop "microgrids'' designed to make communities more energy independent and the grid more resilient.

Huge Transformers Set to Move

Nov 2, 2015

It's a sign of the eventual retirement of the Ginna Nuclear Power Plant.

The operation involves some rather old-fashioned transportation.

Two huge transformers that will someday allow RG and E to wean itself from nuclear power were built in China.

The 236-ton machines came to the US by freighter, then by Erie Canal barge to Macedon.

This week, they'll get to a substation in Perinton on two huge 12-axle self-propolled flatbeds.

We learn all about the Chinese New Year with the Democrat & Chronicle’s Mary Chao, who is working on a piece for next week. We’ll learn about traditions, culture, and cooking.

Then, third grade students are attempting to go off the grid at the Harley School. They are designing and building their own lamp for their desk, then wiring their classroom to be solar powered.  The plan is to have the classroom "Off the Grid" before February break. We'll be joined by Chris Hartman from The Harley School and some students.