Looking to Legislature to prioritize energy affordability by taking action this session to pass NY Home Energy Affordable Transition Act
May 2, 2023
Contact: Annette McDermott, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALBANY, NY – Building Decarbonization Coalition New York Director, Lisa Dix’s response to the New York State Legislature’s FY 2024 New York State Budget:
“We applaud Governor Hochul and the New York State Legislature for their leadership in passing the first-of-its-kind statewide requirement to achieve zero-emissions in new buildings as early as 2026. Thanks to the work of Senator Kavanagh, Assembly Member Gallagher and a broad coalition of environmental justice, climate, and labor organizations, New Yorkers will begin to reap the economic, health, safety, and workforce benefits of building decarbonization.
We thank the Senate, Assembly and Governor for taking a needed first step to require the state to lead by example to begin to decarbonize state facilities and campuses. The budget deal appropriates $30 million for the New York Power Authority to move forward with ‘decarbonization action plans’ to fully eliminate on-site emissions from 15 facilities and campuses and allocated an additional $30 million for investments in a Thermal Energy Network at SUNY Albany, delivering immediate emissions reductions and union jobs. We look forward to working with the New York Power Authority to rapidly finalize these action plans and move 15 shovel-ready Thermal Energy Networks forward in the near term.
To begin actualizing Governor Hochul’s climate-friendly homes pledge, the legislature approved $200 million dollars to help low-income households weatherize and electrify their homes.
Despite these steps forward, the Legislature’s work is not done. After months of high energy bills, downstate New Yorkers are facing double-digit rate hikes driven in part by costly gas pipeline investments. While the Legislature’s allocation of $200 million for short-term utility bill relief for low-income New Yorkers is a necessary short-term band-aid that begs for a long-term solution, the legislature can deliver long-term affordability this session by passing the NY Home Energy Affordable Transition (HEAT) Act. This critical legislation begins an equitable, managed, phased transition toward neighborhood-scale decarbonization solutions such as Thermal Energy Networks, and aligns the Public Service Commission’s mission with New York’s climate law. The NY HEAT Act eliminates subsidies that continue the unrestrained expansion of New York’s gas distribution system, protecting gas utility consumers from unsustainable gas rate hikes and empowering the PSC to redirect utility spending to avoid further unmanaged and unwise gas system investments. We look forward to working with the Legislature to finish the job and pass NY HEAT in the coming weeks.”
ABOUT THE BUILDING DECARBONIZATION COALITION
The Building Decarbonization Coalition (BDC) unites stakeholders on a path to transform the nation’s buildings through clean energy, using policy, research, market development and public engagement. The BDC and its members are charting the course to eliminate fossil fuels in buildings to improve people’s health, cut climate and air pollution, prioritize high-road jobs, and ensure that our communities are more resilient to the impacts of climate change. Learn more at www.buildingdecarb.org