Published on April 23rd, 2018 | by Joshua S Hill0
New York Targets New Energy Efficiency Goal To Cut Emissions & Combat Climate Change
April 23rd, 2018 by Joshua S Hill
The Governor of the State of New York, Andrew Cuomo, announced last week an ambitious new energy efficiency target that will aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs and deliver nearly a third of the state’s 2030 greenhouse gas reduction goal.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his new 2025 energy efficiency target last Friday which will focus on significant greenhouse gas emission reductions, decreasing consumer energy costs, and creating new job opportunities. The energy efficiency target — which is described as being “part of the Governor’s State of the State proposal to develop a milestone Earth Day energy efficiency target and comprehensive strategy” — will aim to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs (British thermal units) below the currently-forecasted 2025 energy use — equivalent to the energy used by around 1.8 million New York homes.
The State of New York will incentivize building developers, commercial and institutional building owners, and residential households to pursue building improvements that reduce energy consumption. Governor Cuomo will also direct the Public Service Commission (PSC) to ensure that a substantial slice of the new energy efficiency activity result in programs to provide for low- to moderate-income residents.
“Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way for New Yorkers to lower utility bills, curb harmful emissions and battle climate change,” Governor Cuomo said. “As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to safeguard our environment, we must continue our bold action to reduce emissions and protect all New Yorkers, today and in the future, from the devastating effects of climate change.”
Energy efficiency efforts in a state such as New York could yield significant benefits. Currently, residents of New York pay around $35 billion each year for electricity and heating fuels, and New York buildings are responsible for 59% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions. Meeting the Governor’s new energy efficiency target in the next 7 years would accelerate energy efficiency measures by 40% over current policies. Energy efficiency already provides a significant share of New York State’s clean energy economy, with more than 110,000 residents employed in energy efficiency-related jobs. To further develop energy efficiency measures, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will commit an extra $36.5 million to train nearly 20,000 new employees for energy efficiency jobs.
“We’re aggressively working to make New York more energy efficient with unprecedented goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change,” Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul added. “The strategies to make our state cleaner and greener will result in high-tech jobs for New Yorkers with investments in workforce development. The focus on energy efficiency will not only enhance the environment and create new jobs, it will also lower energy costs for residents and boost the energy economy.”
Governor Cuomo’s announcement was unsurprisingly met with support from national and local clean energy organisations.
“Today’s announcement represents a big commitment to money-saving energy efficiency by Governor Cuomo,” said Lisa Frantzis, senior vice president of Advanced Energy Economy. “It is inspiring to see New York take on energy efficiency with the same level of ambition the state has shown on renewable energy and utility transformation. The result will be savings for customers and jobs for New Yorkers making homes and businesses more energy efficient.”
“This new commitment to energy efficiency is excellent news for an industry that already employs 110,000 New Yorkers, and now will employ more,” Said Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York. “Efficiency is extremely valuable to the environment, to utility customers, and to a clean and resilient grid. To be successful, this program will need to clearly recognize and monetize that value and provide a simple and streamlined method for utilities to achieve efficiency. We look forward to working with the utilities, the state and all stakeholders to ensure Governor Cuomo’s exciting goals yield real and timely results.”