ALBANY, New York - New York state is to spend an additional $2 billion on energy efficiency and building electrification initiatives to combat climate change.
The New York State Public Service Commission has approved a set of energy efficiency and electric heat pump targets aimed at dramatically reducing energy consumption in the state.
The new targets for investor-owned utilities will bring nearly $2 billion in market-enabling investments to help transform the way New York residents and businesses heat and cool their homes and offices and move towards cleaner and healthier buildings and communities throughout the state.
Together with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the New York Power Authority, the Long Island Power Authority and a previous PSC order on efficiency, New York State in energy efficiency and clean heat investments from 2020 through 2025 will total $6.8 billion. The state has an objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions throughout New York by 85 percent by 2050 and achieve economy-wide carbon neutrality.
"Climate change is a real and growing threat to New York's environment and economy and to the health of our people, and we're already experiencing the negative impacts in the form of increased weather related emergencies," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday. "This historic investment shows we are aggressively pursuing clean energy alternatives to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, growing jobs in clean energy industries and protecting our environment for current and future generations."
The order is also expected to boost the number of energy efficiency jobs across the state as the largest segment of New York's clean energy economy. In 2018, over 123,000 New Yorkers were employed in the energy efficiency sector. With this new investment, job growth and economic opportunity in energy efficiency is expected to further accelerate over the next five years.
The new energy efficiency and electrification programs authorized on Thursday will also contribute substantially toward meeting the state's clean energy goals. The targets, combined with other State initiatives, will result in a three percent reduction in annual electric usage and a 1.3 percent reduction in annual gas usage by 2025. This utility investment is a cornerstone of New York's energy efficiency strategy and is expected to result in substantial progress toward New York's energy savings goal.
"Energy efficiency is a go-to resource - the resource you don't use is usually the cheapest - and we need to aggressively pursue this solution. Governor Cuomo's commitment to protecting and enhancing our environment has been steadfast. Today's action to advancing energy efficiency and the installation of heat pumps will reduce costs, reduce energy and reduce carbon," Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes said Thursday.
"The NYSERDA initiatives being announced today will help dramatically accelerate our progress in scaling up new, cleaner alternatives for residents and businesses to heat and cool their homes and facilities, and will help ensure energy affordability for Low-and-Moderate Income customers who want healthy, efficient solutions for their homes," Alicia Barton, President and CEO, NYSERDA, said Thursday.
NYPA President and CEOGil C. Quiniones added: "NYPA is investing hundreds of millions of dollars annually to support our government customers' transition to cleaner and more energy efficient technology. Increasing energy efficiency throughout New York State is critical to achieving a clean energy economy and lowering the state's carbon footprint."
LIPA CEO Tom Falcone said: "Governor Cuomo's commitment to energy efficiency is good for both the environment and our customers' wallets. LIPA has invested over $1.4 billion in energy efficiency and clean energy and is committed to an additional $500 million over the next five years to help our customers save money and the environment."