Hochul’s NY HEAT Act: A Cool Proposal to Cut Energy Costs, Skip Costly Fossil Fuel Fiascos

January 14, 2024

The Renewable Heat Now campaign and our allies across New York celebrate Governor Kathy Hochul’s inclusion of major pillars of the NY HEAT Act.

All includesd in her State of the State proposals to bring New Yorkers the cleaner heat and lower bills we need.

These provisions, which will free utility ratepayers from being forced to fund costly gas pipelines and enable New York to move to cheaper and cleaner heating alternatives, have been targeted by gas and oil industries’ relentless lobbying and misinformation campaigns.

“…protect New Yorkers from escalating heating bills …”

We are thrilled to see the Governor announce key actions to protect New Yorkers from escalating heating bills and the worst impacts of the climate crisis. We will redouble our efforts to work with both Governor Hochul and the legislature to ensure they withstand any attempts to prevent a safe and affordable gas transition from inclusion in the final budget.

Specifically, the Governor’s 2024 priorities include key provisions of the New York Home Energy Affordable Transition (NY HEAT) Act, which passed the State Senate last year and is steadily gaining support in the State Assembly.

The Governor’s proposals include: 

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  • Eliminating subsidies for new gas hookups. New customers could still connect to the gas system, but would have to pay for the cost of doing so instead of relying on a subsidy paid for by existing utility customers. Eliminating these subsidies would save existing gas customers over $200 million annually.
  • Changing the Public Service Law to enable the decarbonization of entire neighborhoods when costly gas pipes reach the end of their life. This will unlock the money that would have been spent on new gas pipelines to fund cleaner and more affordable options such as thermal energy networks and heat pumps.
  • Provisions to improve energy affordability for low-income households through access to renewable electricity, renewable heating, and energy savings.

“Governor Hohcul’s commitment to a safe, affordable, transition off gas is a major step forward,” said Lisa Marshall, Director of Organizing and Advocacy at New Yorkers for Clean Power. “It’s long past time to halt costly subsidies to expand fracked gas and invest instead in clean heat and healthy homes. We look now to the legislature to ensure that all the provisions of the NY HEAT Act are included in the budget.”

“As the fossil fuel companies continue to raise our heating bills and threaten our futures, we are thrilled to see the Governor support major components of the NY HEAT Act to bring New Yorkers the cleaner heat and lower bills we need,” said Jessica Azulay, Executive Director of Alliance for a Green Economy. “With the State Senate having already shown their support by passing the bill in full last year, all eyes turn to Carl Heastie and the Assembly to stand with New Yorkers and get this done in the upcoming state budget.”

Liz Moran, New York Policy Advocate at Earthjustice, said: “Earthjustice applauds Governor Hochul for listening to thousands of New Yorkers across the state by embracing key portions of the NY HEAT Act. The NY HEAT Act is crucial to help save New Yorkers money and fight climate change by downsizing the expensive and dirty gas system, eliminating certain unfair fossil fuel subsidies, and capping utility bills. We join our partners in calling on the Assembly and Senate to champion NY HEAT in their respective one-house budgets.” 

“… inaction is always the most expensive option.”

New York cannot make the transition to healthy, cost-effective and emissions-free buildings if we continue to facilitate and subsidize new fracked gas infrastructure over efficient heat pumps and thermal energy networks,” said Roger Downs, Conservation Director, Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. “The Sierra Club applauds Governor Hochul for her State of the State commitment to removing long-standing fossil fuel entitlements and ushering in a new era of innovation, affordability and climate equity in the building sector. Study after study has shown us that when it comes to addressing the climate crisis, inaction is always the most expensive option. We urge the legislature and governor to come to an agreement on the NY HEAT Act in the 2024-25 Budget negotiations.”

“Thousands of dedicated New Yorker climate justice activists took action and persuaded Governor Hochul to take steps to speed our transition off deadly, polluting fracked gas infrastructure,” said Kim Fraczek, Director of Sane Energy Project. “Now we need to push forward to end the stranglehold of corporate gas utilities over our energy system and complete our transition to 100% renewable, democratically controlled energy.”

“New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) members are always ready for a level playing field which is what Governor Hochul’s decision to eliminate the obligation to serve and the 100-foot rule will foster,” commented Christine Hoffer, NY-GEO Executive Director. “Without these barriers, our geothermal heat pump industry will be able to offer cost-competitive, affordable, non-fossil fuel alternatives to NY residents and businesses. The Governor’s decision to give the Public Service Commission the authority to start a proceeding to explore clean thermal network technologies further grows our sustainable technology bringing with it good-paying job opportunities, especially in metro areas and disadvantaged communities. Implementing virtual power plant technology along with her “Smart Energy Savings Initiative”/time of use rates ties many pieces of future clean energy strategy into a savvy synergistic package that will benefit our state’s economy and environment. Thank you Governor Hochul.”  

“Governor Hochul’s commitment to clean energy, limiting gas expansion, and embracing elements of the NY HEAT Act is a crucial win for Mothers Out Front,” said Annabella Cockerell Organizing Manager of Mothers Out Front, NY. “This aligns with our mission for a healthier climate for all children by transforming unjust systems. We urge the legislature to fully support the NY HEAT Act, ensuring comprehensive measures for a cleaner, safer New York. We stand behind Governor Hochul’s proposals for a sustainable future that prioritizes the well-being of our families and the environment.”

Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director, Food & Water Watch, said: “By including key elements of the NY HEAT Act in her forthcoming budget proposal, Governor Hochul has demonstrated her clear commitment to moving New York off fossil fuels in a just and affordable transition for all New Yorkers. We applaud Governor Hochul for her leadership and urge Speaker Heastie and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins to step up to the plate and ensure we get NY HEAT passed in the final budget. It is long past time to stop subsidizing the expansion of filthy fracked gas infrastructure, and lower New Yorkers’ energy bills in the process.” 

Betta Broad, Director, of Advocacy & Organizing, Association for Energy Affordability, said: “We applaud Governor Hochul for announcing that key provisions of the NY HEAT Act will be included in her budget that would stop subsidizing gas infrastructure and instead allow investments in energy efficiency and heat pumps. The time is now to change NY’s Public Service Laws so that our state becomes the first in the nation to enable strategic neighborhood scale electrification and prevent ratepayers from paying for new gas pipes when we should be transitioning to clean technologies.”

Meg Ahearn, Program Director, NYPIRG, said: “We are excited to see key parts of the NY HEAT Act in the Governor’s State of the State address. A just and affordable transition off fossil fuels will save New Yorkers money, and help the State meet its climate goals. New York ratepayers are sick of throwing money “down the pipeline,” and are looking to the Governor, Senate Majority Leader, and Assembly Speaker to get NY HEAT done in the budget this year!”

“… protecting households from excessive bills …”

“There’s no reason that, in 2024, as the climate crisis intensifies, New Yorkers should be paying hundreds of millions of dollars to expand gas pipelines. By including parts of the NY HEAT Act into the Executive Budget, Governor Hochul is signaling that she’s ready to start shifting our state’s energy infrastructure away from fossil fuels and toward the electric and thermal energy networks that we’ll need to power our homes, workplaces, and public buildings in the future,” said NY Renews Executive Director, Stephan Edel. “Now, we ask the Governor to include the remaining elements of the Act—protecting households from excessive bills by capping utility bills at a reasonable level—in the final budget to help alleviate the cost burden on working New Yorkers.”  

Richard Schrader, the New York Legislative and Policy Director for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), said: “Governor Hochul’s state of the state included support for nation-leading changes to Public Service Law. The ‘100-foot rule’ locks New York State into its dependency on fossil fuels and passes the cost of building out gas infrastructure on to customers to the tune of $200 million a year. Hochul also showed support to enable community-scale electrification projects that would facilitate cost-saving downsizing of the gas system. If it becomes law, these changes will allow investment in clean, healthy zero-emission homes instead of wasting billions of dollars for more fossil fuel infrastructure. Hochul has signaled that she is focused on taking steps toward an affordable, managed transition off dirty fossil fuels in buildings and reaching the goals laid out by the Climate Act. Instead of further investing in a polluting fossil fuel system, New York must continue to lead the nation by focusing on reducing 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.”

Patrick McClellan, Policy Director for the New York League of Conservation Voters, said: “If we are going to climb out of the environmental hole we call the climate crisis, the first thing we need to do is stop digging, and that is exactly what the NY HEAT Act will accomplish. New York’s antiquated gas pipeline system contributes mightily to air pollution and rising greenhouse gas emissions and by changing outdated and increasingly unnecessary regulations, we will at once save billions of dollars in costly new infrastructure investments – which is great news for ratepayers – while ushering in protocols that align with the state’s clean energy future. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for including parts of NY HEAT in her State of the State and we look forward to advocating for the full bill to be included in the final budget agreement.”

Cara-Leigh Battaglia, Executive Director/CEO of Building Performance Contractors Association of NYS, Inc, said: “Governor Hochul’s support for key parts of the NY HEAT Act shows that she and New York State are committed to solutions and problem-solving as we tackle climate change energy efficiency challenges. We applaud her efforts and continued support, as well as her vision for New York to lead the nation as an innovator setting the pace for critical infrastructure and practical consumer-focused change. Clean heating and cooling and energy efficient homes for all New York citizens is a social, economic, and health and safety mandate. Ensuring it remains safe and affordable for consumers is at the forefront of the Governor’s leadership. The legislature, we hope, will support her visionary and progressive change by educating themselves to the practical needs and facts rather than misinformation that clouds policy and politics to ensure New Yorkers are well-served by their decisions that affect the industry workforce and programs. Our homeowners and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”

“BDC applauds Governor Hochul’s commitment to advancing New York’s nation-leading energy affordability and building decarbonization efforts with a plan that will help transform how New York heats and cools its buildings, making families’ energy bills more affordable, fortifying the state’s clean heating and cooling infrastructure with union jobs, and lowering the state’s climate emissions,” said Lisa Dix, New York Director for the Building Decarbonization Coalition.

“Governor Hochul took a big step forward to transition New York away from fossil fuels, opening paths to new clean energy solutions and the good, green union jobs that build them,” said Theodore A. Moore, Executive Director of ALIGN. “But our climate crisis is only growing more urgent, burdening low-income and BIPOC communities with high costs to health and home. We urge the Governor and NYS Legislature to enact the full power of the Act — capping utility bills and providing critical relief to working New Yorkers.”

“… not … forced to fund new gas infrastructure that is obsolete before it’s … built …”

“Rewiring America applauds Governor Hochul’s proposal to move New York towards cleaner, more affordable energy. Ratepayers should not be forced to fund new gas infrastructure that is obsolete before it’s even built,” said Michael Hernandez, Director of State & Local Policy for New York at Rewiring America. “The NYS Assembly needs to support this proposal to provide ratepayers relief from the high costs of expensive and unnecessary expansions of the gas system.” 

Conor Bambrick, Director of Policy for Environmental Advocates NY, said: “The Governor’s decision to support key provisions of the NY HEAT Act is critical to ensuring an equitable and affordable transition off natural gas. Allowing the Public Service Commission to work with utilities to develop comprehensive long-term plans will preserve reliability and create new economic opportunities as New Yorkers shift to zero-emission alternatives, like thermal energy networks and heat pumps. We urge the Legislature to work with the Governor to include all provisions on the NY HEAT Act in the state budget.”

Irene Weiser, Coordinator, Fossil Free Tompkins, said: “Hooray for Governor Hochul for listening to the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who want healthy, clean, and affordable heating and cooling! Her actions will reverse laws that have been on the books, some since the 1800s, that have supported fossil fuel expansion across the state. Now, with the changes she has proposed, our utilities will be able to chart a course for reducing our reliance on dirty energy and transitioning to a clean affordable building energy future.” 

“Governor Hochul’s announcement of support for key pillars of the NY HEAT Act show that our grassroots movement can overcome massive gas and oil industry opposition. Whenever these corporations attempt to undo this progress in the coming months, we will redouble our efforts across the state to ensure our representatives continue to stand up to them, and won’t stop until these vital measures to bring New Yorkers cleaner heat and lower bills are signed into law in the state budget,” said Renee Vogelsang, New York Director, Frack Action.

Clare Henrie, Director of Policy and Advocacy at Climate Solutions Accelerator of the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, said: “Eliminating the “100 foot rule” is true systems-level change and if enacted, this measure would significantly reduce barriers to New York’s clean energy future. While there is still work to be done to include affordability measures in the final budget, we applaud Governor Hochul for supporting this key provision of the NY HEAT Act and our safe transition off the fossil fuel system. Now we look to the state legislature to do the same.” 

Adam Flint, Director of Clean Energy Programs at the Network for a Sustainable Tomorrow, said: “We commend Governor Hochul’s decision to include the 100 foot rule, the obligation to serve, and energy affordability language in her budget announcement yesterday. These are important components of the NY HEAT Act, which would also reduce energy burden by capping utility costs at 6% of income, end subsidies for methane gas hookups, and thereby spur New York on its path to meeting the ambitious climate and clean energy goals of our landmark climate law, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA). We encourage the Governor and legislative leaders to include the remaining elements of the Act and hope to see significant funding for implementation in the final budget.”

“We’ve just learned — to no one’s surprise — that 2023 was the hottest year on record. The NY HEAT Act is an essential piece of the enormous array of changes needed to meet this crisis. We applaud Governor Hochul for supporting major portions of this legislation, which is designed to wean us off climate-killing fossil fuel combustion while providing safe and affordable heat for New Yorkers. We expect the fossil fuel industry to fight us tooth and nail to defeat or gut these provisions, but New York’s sturdy climate movement is determined to carry this bill over the finish line this session,” said Mimi Bluestone, Co-Leader at 350Brooklyn.

Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative Coordinator Peter Bardaglio said: “Governor Hochul’s move to limit the expansion of the gas system in New York by ending the 100-foot rule, thus helping the state to meet its ambitious greenhouse gas emissions target, gets us headed in the right direction. Clean heat, healthy homes, and affordable energy are vital keys to a bright future for our children and grandchildren.”

Mary Finneran of FrackBusters NY said: “FrackBusters NY believes people need to be protected from paying to poison themselves with fossil fuels. We applaud Hochul’s steps in the right direction in her support for renewable heat and utility costs.”

Alÿcia Bacon, Capital Region Organizer for Mothers Out Front, said: “Capital Region Mothers Out Front applauds Governor Hochul’s decision to include the NY HEAT Act in her State of the State address. This pivotal move signals a significant shift towards a more sustainable and equitable future for all New Yorkers. It acknowledges the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels, a critical step in our fight against climate change, for the health and future of our communities.” 

“As the female owner of an energy efficiency and renewable energy consulting business, I help families go green by switching to heat pumps. I am encouraged to see the end of the 100-foot rule and the obligation to serve,” said Billii Roberti, Founder and CEO of Green Choices Consulting. “Eliminating these gas utility subsidies makes it easier for families to choose clean, green, and lean heat pumps. Shifting to heat pumps will improve their health and indoor air quality, reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, shrink their carbon footprint, and lower their heating and cooling costs. High electric bills here on Long Island are currently an impediment to switching for some families. Prioritizing energy affordability for customers who electrify their heating will help overcome this barrier. Thank you, Governor Hochul.”

“GreeningUSA commends Governor Hochul for demonstrating strong government leadership in sustainability, one of the foundational traits of a sustainable New York State. By highlighting elements of the NY HEAT Act as a priority for 2024, she is taking appropriate steps to rapidly replace energy generated from fossil fuels with renewable, non-polluting alternatives. The results of this effort will benefit all of the people of New York and should be implemented to assure a socially equitable distribution of those benefits,” said Peter J. Arsenault, FAIA, 12 Traits Program Director and Founding President at GreeningUSA.

“We are very pleased to see Governor Hochul lead on energy affordability and climate action. We applaud her call for the alignment of Public Service Law with Climate Law and an end to the costly rate-payer expansion of gas infrastructure. Let’s get to work building the NY for the Future,” said Susan Kathleen Hughes-Smith on behalf of Roctricity. 

“Ratepayers and communities will benefit from this vital update to Public Service Law, which currently prevents the transition off of harmful fossil fuels. We look forward to the day these provisions are signed into law so that NYS can fully embrace a healthier climate future,” said Carol Chock, President of Ratepayer and Community Intervenors.

Scott Loveland, NYS Legislation Coordinator at Citizens’ Climate Lobby, said: “Fossil fuels burned in buildings for heating, hot water, and cooking account for approximately one-third of greenhouse gas emissions in New York State. Not only that, heating and cooking with fossil fuels like natural gas also impacts our health, contributing to conditions such as asthma and heart disease. If New York State is going to meet the targets set under the Climate Act, the state needs to halt the vexpansion of the natural gas system and minimize its size by 2050 until it only services difficult to electrified uses. CCL NY appreciates the Governor’s leadership on this issue, and calls on the legislature to include the NY HEAT Act in their one-house budgets.”

“Syracuse Cultural Workers is delighted to see Governor Hochul prioritize the needs of our communities – promoting climate-friendly energy policies to increase health and reduce cost. As a high-poverty community, Syracuse desperately needs this relief and small businesses like ours want to be part of the solution,” said Andy Mager, Coordinator at Syracuse Cultural Workers.

Ryan Madden, Climate & Energy Campaigns Director at Long Island Progressive Coalition, said: “The inclusion of major provisions of the NY HEAT Act in Governor Hochul’s State of the State is a testament to the power of the New York climate movement. Long Island residents need the full package though to combat the affordability crisis in our region. We call on the Senate and Assembly to include the entire legislation in their one-house budgets and deliver for the people of this state.” 

“… climate destruction … pouring ratepayers’ money into the gas networks …”

Susan H. Gillespie, Co-Founder and Vice President at Communities for Local Power, said: “It’s high time for New York State to get serious about getting off gas. Communities for Local Power (CLP) is thrilled to congratulate Governor Hochul for supporting the Affordable Gas Transition Act (also known as the NY HEAT Act). When passed, this crucial legislation will direct the Public Service Commission — whose members the Governor appoints — to end New York’s investor-owned utilities’ ability to profit from climate destruction by pouring ratepayers’ money into the gas networks we need to be dismantling.”

“The Urban Jobs Task Force of Syracuse applauds the governor for transitioning away from natural gas to sustainable sources of energy while working to make that transition affordable for all New Yorkers,” said Tylah Worrell, Executive Director at Urban Jobs Task Force of Syracuse.

“The Climate Reality Project: New York State Chapters Coalition applauds Governor Hochul for supporting significant provisions of the NY HEAT Act in her State of the State address. We can see with our own eyes that the climate is rapidly changing, and 2023 was the hottest year in recorded human history. We don’t have a moment to waste, so we are grateful to the Governor for her willingness to protect the health and well-being of New Yorkers, despite opposition from the methane gas industry. We look forward to working with many others to get the entire NY HEAT Act included in the Senate and Assembly One-House budgets and signed into law this session,” said Maura McNulty, Chair of The Climate Reality Project: Capital Region Chapter, on behalf of The Climate Reality Project: New York State Chapters Coalition. 

Xanthe Plymale, Co-Organizer with Fridays for Future Capital District NY, said: “Young New Yorkers need policy leaders like Governor Kathy Hochul to phase out the use of fossil fuels in our state and protect the next generation. Ending the expansion of gas infrastructure allows young people like me to imagine our futures as healthy and breathable.”

Jens Ponikau, President of Buffalo Geothermal, said: “We thank Governor Hochul for sparing New Yorkers the expense of paying for new gas infrastructure that would only be an obsolete, burdensome addition to our gas bills, as the Governor follows through on our nation leading climate law, the CLCPA.” 

Charley Bowman, Chair, Western NY Drilling Defense, said: “New York State residents deserve lower utility bills and a cleaner environment. The NY HEAT Act will accomplish that and reduce the largest source of NY State’s greenhouse gas emissions arising from the burning of fossil fuels for heat. It’s high time for Albany to enact the NY HEAT Act (S2016A/A4592A).”

“We are thrilled that Governor Hochul is taking the needs of everyday New Yorkers seriously by putting key provisions of the NY HEAT Act in her executive budget to help end shameful, hidden ratepayer subsidies of fossil fuel infrastructure,” said Jessie Van Amburg, Organizer, Beacon Climate Action Now (BCAN). “This is an important step in ensuring the state meets its ambitious climate goals. But in talking to hundreds of mid-Hudson Valley residents over the past year, we know that our neighbors are frustrated by high energy bills all year round and deserve more protection. We urge the Governor to include the 6% of household income limit in her budget to ensure that utility companies can’t pass the cost of a much-needed energy transition onto struggling New York families.”

“During this unprecedented weather and strange times, it’s incredibly important to show our children that significant progress is being made by those in power,” said Megan Dyer of Mothers Out Front, Northern Westchester. “Nothing is as gratifying as coming to the dinner table and telling our children that real work is being done on their behalf. This on a 55 degree day in January during yet another flooding event.”

Andora Ramberg of the Croton on Hudson High School Green Team said: “I’m 17 years old, and this news is a relief to me. I attended the press conference in Albany to urge Governor Hochul to include the NY HEAT Act in her annual budget plan because I see the world rapidly declining and politicians turning a blind eye. The young people of the world are concerned and scared for their future because the people in power are too afraid to make changes in policy. I hope this serves as an example for future actions. Thank you, Governor Hochul!”

“We applaud Governor Hochul for including major provisions of the NY HEAT Act in her executive budget. Now we must continue the fight to get the Governor and legislature to fully implement and sufficiently fund our landmark NYS Climate Act. Given the immense task of transitioning from a statewide economy based on fossil fuel, incremental programs that do not take effect until three, four or five years from now are too little and too late. We call on the Assembly to include the whole of the NY HEAT Act in its one-house budget – notably the 6 percent of income cap on utility bills for low- and moderate-income residents. We expect that the Senate will do the same,” said Michael Richardson, Co-Facilitator, Third Act Upstate New York.

Maggie Reilly, Chair of the Climate Crisis Working Group (IMV), said: “CCWG is encouraged by Governor Hochul’s inclusion of major portions of the NY HEAT Act in her State of the State address. We also applaud the many activists for their hard work fighting for clean energy and an equitable future for all New Yorkers. Eliminating the “100-foot rule” and changing the Public Service Law will allow for New York to transition off a fossil fuel infrastructure and toward an electric/thermal energy network. This is a necessary step for the fight against climate change. We now look to the legislature to include the entire NY HEAT Act in their one-house budget.”

Dr. Larysa Dyrszka, Co-Founder, Concerned Health Professionals of New York, said: “Thank you, Governor Hochul! Removing obstacles low-income households face in accessing electricity and heating from renewable sources will lead to cleaner indoor air for New Yorkers and less asthma in our children. We know more than enough about the harmful pollutants such as nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, fine particulate matter, and benzene emitted by gas stoves. By embracing provisions of the NY HEAT Act, the Governor can bring us closer to the just energy transition we need.”

“The big climate win in Governor Hochul’s State of the State speech was her support for much of the critical NY HEAT Act. The repeal of the so-called 100-foot rule for free gasline expansions will be an important step in reducing state subsidies for fossil fuels. We urge lawmakers to take further action to eliminate such subsidies, such as by making polluters pay with proposals such as the Climate Superfund Act. It is also important for the Hochul administration to ensure that the policies of the various state agencies such as the Public Service Commission are in alignment with the CLCPA goals to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More steps are also needed to keep the transition to a clean energy future affordable for the average New Yorker,” said Mark Dunlea, Convenor of PAUSE (People of Albany United for Safe Energy), the 350.org affiliate in the Capital District.

“Thank you to Governor Hochul for responding to our concerns as we advocate to stop the expansion of fossil fuels to protect our children’s future. We urge the NYS Legislature to include the NY HEAT Act in the budget,” said Rachael Ricker, Volunteer, Mothers Out Front, Westchester Rivertowns. 

“Long term planning to make our buildings cleaner and more efficient is good for our environment and our economy,” said Uchenna Bright, Northeast Advocate for E2, which tracks clean energy jobs in New York and beyond. “By including these important provisions in the executive budget, Governor Hochul and New York are showing the rest of the country how we can prioritize affordability and investment to create a sustainable, more equitable future.”

“Long Island is on the front lines of climate impacts in New York State. We are grateful to Governor Hochul for supporting the alignment of New York State policies with the robust goals of the NY Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, especially the need to stop new gas infrastructure in the state,” said Francesca Rheannon, Chair, Climate Reality Project Long Island Chapter. 

Hennessy Garcia, Climate Justice Organizer + Co-Facilitator, Sixth Street Community Center, said: “The NY HEAT Act is popular with the youth. We have rallied, organized and lobbied in favor of NY HEAT. We will not be gaslit. 2023 was the hottest year on record. We cannot rely on fossil fuels any longer. We must transition to cleaner energy. We want thermal energy networks. We want the future our so-called legislators promised us.”

“South Asian New Yorkers have been taking action for climate justice and lower energy bills. Governor Hochul’s announcement of support is a big step toward overcoming our struggle, and we will continue the fight for cleaner heat and lower bills for our minority community,” said Mazeda Uddin, Executive Director of South Asian Fund For Education Scholarship and Training Inc. “Now is the time to stand up for the minority communities who are suffering financially. We are proud to be part of the movement to pass the NY HEAT Act.”

“NYPAN is proud to work in coalition with the Renewable Heat Now campaign,” said Cari Gardner, Chair of the Environmental Committee of the New York Progressive Action Network. “We truly appreciate the grassroots organizing efforts to get the NY HEAT Act passed. We’re pleased to see Governor Hochul take this initial step in her policy agenda. Now let’s make sure we get the entire bill into the budget to assure clean and affordable energy for everyone.”

Elijah Conlin, Graduate Director for Zero Hour Binghamton, said: “Zero Hour Binghamton recognizes that Governor Kathy Hochul is making strides toward electrifying the grid and moving away from the archaic fossil fuel system. However, it is imperative for every college student, especially those who are only now starting to pay their own utility bills, for the Governor to include all of the elements of the NY HEAT Act in her final Budget. We must continue to build on this momentum to propel New York State into the future, and Governor Kathy Hochul has the ability to keep the ball rolling.”

Though the Governor stopped short of endorsing a popular provision of the NY HEAT Act that would ensure low-income New Yorkers don’t pay more than 6% of their income toward energy bills, the Governor’s proposals make it clear: the best path toward energy affordability is to embrace fossil fuel alternatives and avoid unnecessary and costly investments in gas systems.

The Renewable Heat Now campaign and our allies look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature during the budget process to ensure that low-income New Yorkers do not bear the burdens of unnecessary fossil fuel investments, are prioritized for energy savings programs and jobs, and are ensured an affordable energy bill as New York makes the necessary and urgent transition to clean energy. 

We invite organizations, legislators, and individuals to join us in Albany on January 23, 2024, for a rally and lobby day in support of the NY HEAT Act. 

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