Renewable Heat Advocates Celebrate Hochul’s Commitment To Electrify Homes And Calls For Electrification For All

Advocates working to get fossil fuels out of buildings celebrated the bold commitment made today by New York State Governor Hochul to electrify 2 million homes by 2030.

Governor Hochul called on her administration to follow through on funding to make it affordable for any building to switch off fossil fuels.

The commitment to remove fossil fuel appliances from millions of buildings and replace them with efficient electric appliances is a critical piece of climate action that renewable heating advocates had been pushing the Governor toward for months.

Pollution from heating, cooling, and hot water systems in New York buildings accounts for one-third of greenhouse emissions in the state and harms indoor and outdoor air quality, causing approximately 1,000 premature deaths each year.

The State’s Climate Action Council, which is tasked with creating a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050, released a draft last week that included the need to electrify approximately 1.8 million homes to meet the 2030 mandate.

The State’s Climate Action Council, which is tasked with creating a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050, released a draft last week that included the need to electrify approximately 1.8 million homes to meet the 2030 mandate.

Building electrification refers to the process of replacing appliances that burn fossil fuels with efficient electric versions that reduce energy use and will be powered by renewable electricity as the grid becomes greener.

“Too much time has already been lost in the fight against climate change,” said Governor Hochul today in her State of the State address. “Our reliance on fossil fuels must be phased out.” She went on to say “New construction in the State will be zero-emission by 2027, and we will build climate-friendly, electric homes and promote electric cars, trucks, and buses.”



…the State will implement measures to support the creation of 2 million electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030” with 800,000 being low-to-moderate income households.

Governor Hochul’s State of the State Book released along with her address provides more detail, committing that “the State will implement measures to support the creation of 2 million electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030” with 800,000 being low-to-moderate income households. The Governor also committed to “requiring zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction no later than 2027,” improving building and appliance standards, and “proposing legislation to level the playing field for clean energy alternatives and end the obligation to serve customers with natural gas that currently exists in state law, tailored to maintain affordability for New York’s most vulnerable customers.”

In October 2021, over 220 organizations signed a letter asking the Governor to commit to 2 million all-electric homes by 2030, with half of them being affordable housing in disadvantaged communities.

In October 2021, over 220 organizations signed a letter asking the Governor to commit to 2 million all-electric homes by 2030, with half of them being affordable housing in disadvantaged communities.

The letter also called for codes that would eliminate fossil fuels in new construction by 2024 and utility regulations that end fossil fuel subsidies provided for new gas hookups.

A follow-up letter by over 100 local elected officials reinforced those requests.

Today, the Renewable Heat Now Campaign praised the Governor for naming building electrification as a key priority and for committing too many of the requests from the letter.

The group called on her administration to ensure robust and equitable funding for the transition in her forthcoming Executive Budget, move up the dates for fossil-free new construction, reject false heating solutions like so-called “green hydrogen,” and ensure that homes are not just “electrification-ready” but that 2 million homes become fossil-fuel-free by 2030, in line with the Climate Action Council’s draft plan.

Renewable Heat Now urges the Governor to commit $1 billion annually for equitable electrification efforts in her upcoming Executive Budget. Half of this funding should come from the New York Green Bank, using at least 50% of its State-authorized capital, or $500 million to support the greening of affordable housing.

Renewable Heat Now urges the Governor to commit $1 billion annually for equitable electrification efforts in her upcoming Executive Budget.

Half of this funding should come from the New York Green Bank, using at least 50% of its State-authorized capital, or $500 million to support the greening of affordable housing.

The State of the State Book mentions several funding proposals for electrification with little detail.

In addition to focusing on the funds needed in the upcoming State Budget, the Renewable Heat Now campaign is calling on the Governor and legislators to support a package of legislation needed to phase fossil fuels out of buildings.

This Renewable Heat Now bill package, which includes several of the policies mentioned by the Governor in the State of the State Book, essentially takes the recommendations coming from the Climate Action Council and provides a legal framework to allow implementation of building electrification to happen at the pace and scale that the climate crisis demands.

The All-Electric Building Act (S6843/A8431) requires that no new buildings will heat or run appliances using fossil fuels starting in 2024.

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This legislation also directs state agencies to identify policies to address affordability.

Other components of the bill package address building codes, appliance standards, tax credits, rebates, and changes to public utility law that together serve to shift the status quo from fossil fuel to efficient, affordable electrification.

Quotes from advocates

“Governor Hochul’s commitment to electrify millions of homes by 2030 is a critical step towards meeting the state’s climate goals,” said Jessica Azulay, Executive Director of Alliance for a Green Economy. “Now we must fund these efforts and ensure that as part of the electrification process, we improve housing and air quality for all residents, especially the most vulnerable. We look forward to working with the Hochul administration to implement and strengthen the framework she announced today.”

“We applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to climate-friendly electric homes. We look forward to seeing 2 million all-electric by 2030 and a green affordable housing fund to electrify low to middle-income households. New York led the way by banning fracking but we are among the top consumers of gas in the nation. We must continue to lead by switching off-gas in our homes & buildings.” said Renee Vogelsang, Organizing Director at Frack Action

“NY-GEO – the New York Geothermal Energy Organization – is excited to see Governor Hochul taking up the awesome task of transforming New York’s heating sector away from climate-warming fossil fuels like gas and oil. The market needs a strong signal that the days of fossil fuel heating are over. The Governor, in her State of the State message, is embracing recommendations from the Climate Action Council that fossil fuels will no longer be part of new construction in New York State. Our construction and design industries now have certainty on the future of building heating systems, along with the opportunity to lead the nation in carbon-emission-free construction practices and technologies,” said Bill Nowak, Executive Director of NY-GEO.

“Mothers Out Front NY was pleased to see our first woman governor, a mother herself, make commitments to affordable housing, weatherization, and electrification that will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also improve the health and well-being of children in their homes and schools. Our moms will tell you, climate justice and housing justice go together like peanut butter and jelly,” said Billii Roberti, the Long Island representative to the Mothers Out Front NY Leadership Team.

“One of the more important announcements Governor Hochul made on the climate front was to work with the Legislature to fix Public Service Law, which is entirely at odds with New York’s climate goals in requiring utilities to serve customers with fossil gas rather than clean energy alternatives,” said Jen Metzger, Senior Policy Advisor to New Yorkers for Clean Power and a former NYS Senator. “A change in this antiquated law will clear the path for healthy, carbon-free homes, schools, and workplaces for every New Yorker by 2050.”

“While we are heartened to see the Governor’s numerous commitments to building energy efficiency and electrification, we are deeply concerned about her announcement that New York will become a ‘Green Hydrogen Hub. The hydrogen of any color is largely a Trojan Horse for the fracked gas industry scrambling to remain relevant. Chasing false solutions such as hydrogen, particularly for heating and power generation, rather than a large-scale investment in renewable power and building electrification is an inefficient and costly mistake at this crucial moment. There are at least 10 different sources of free thermal energy that can be used for district heating and cooling right now. There should be no place at the table for hydrogen as a fuel for heating buildings.” said Adam Flint Director of Clean Energy Programs at Network for a Sustainable Tomorrow (NYNEST).

“Every day I get calls and emails from New Yorkers, seeking better, more affordable solutions for their home heating,” said Lisa Marshall, Director of HeatSmart Tompkins. “And most are without access to cooling which is becoming a dangerous situation as our climate warms. Tens of thousands of low-income and elderly folks are relying on expensive and dangerous heating and would welcome the opportunity to switch to a clean, efficient heat pump. But under current market conditions, heat pumps remain out of reach for many who would benefit from them. The governor’s commitment to electrifying 2 million homes by 2030 and most particularly the commitment to 800,000 of LMI households, will go a long way toward changing that. Now we have to seal the deal by passing the Renewable Heat Now bill package.”

“We are pleased that Governor Hochul answered our demand to electrify 2 million homes by 2030 to address the growing climate crisis,” said Kim Fraczek, Director of Sane Energy Project. “How we get there is critical. We must ensure that our most vulnerable communities are served first in a well-funded mandate to address health and equity – that must be part of any climate announcement. Right now, corporate fracked gas utilities are front-loading profit over climate and communities, and that is the kind of behavior we need to change. We’re getting one step closer.”


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