Gov. Cuomo Announces Major Advancement of State’s Energy Efficiency Strategy

Contact: 

Alliance for a Green Economy: Jessica Azulay (917) 697-4472, jessica@agreenewyork.org

Sealed: Andy Frank (347) 609-3508, andy.frank@sealed.com

Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition: Adam Flint (607) 761-8337, AdamFlint@SouthernTierSolarWorks.org

Association for Energy Affordability, Inc.: David Hepinstall (646) 208-7807, hepinstall@aea.us.org
or Valerie Strauss (518) 366-0131, vstrauss@aea.us.org

NRDC: Pat Remick, 202-696-6272, premick@nrdc.org

New Yorkers for Clean Power: Betta Broad, 607-222-3678, betta@nyforcleanpower.org

NY-GEO: Bill Nowak, 716-316-7674, nygeoinfo@gmail.com

Pace Energy and Climate Center: Karl R. Rábago, (914) 422-4082, krabago@law.pace.edu
or Radina Valova, (914) 422-4126, rvalova@law.pace.edu

Riverkeeper: Jeremy Cherson, 770-630-6790, jcherson@riverkeeper.org

Fossil Free Tompkins: Irene Weiser, 607-539-6856, irene32340@gmail.com

Sierra Club: Emily Pomilio, (480) 286-0401, emily.pomilio@sierraclub.org

 

ALBANY, NY (April 20, 2018)—Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced a strong energy efficiency target for New York through 2025. The state’s new efficiency goal equates to saving the energy used by 1.8 million homes, and will deliver nearly one third of the state’s broader Greenhouse Gas Reduction target. The Governor’s initiative aims to “deliver benefits to New York consumers through new building retrofits, efficient appliances, and innovative technologies like heat pumps.”

It includes a commitment to increase annual electric efficiency savings to over 3 percent by 2025, as well as a broader focus on achieving savings from all fuels used to heat buildings. Recognizing the need to enable all New York residents to access the benefits of energy efficiency, Governor Cuomo is directing the state’s Public Service Commission (PSC) to guarantee that a substantial portion of the energy efficiency initiative be comprised of programs for low to moderate income New Yorkers. Further, the State will work collaboratively with stakeholder groups representing low and moderate income and environmental justice communities to assure that the programs meet the desired goals.

This plan will cut energy bills, create thousands of jobs, make homes and workplaces more comfortable, reduce energy-related pollution, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Energy efficiency is one major piece of the comprehensive strategy needed to transform New York’s energy system to become clean, affordable, and resilient.

There have been over 50 groups urging the governor to announce a strong energy efficiency plan. Through the campaign, over 8,500 petitions were delivered to the Governor, and thousands of people called and tweeted their support for a strong, enforceable, and equitable energy efficiency policy. The campaign asked Governor Cuomo to require that utilities scale up their energy efficiency efforts to meet a target of 3 percent annual energy savings and for the administration to ensure that all New Yorkers would benefit from the lower bills, better health, and more comfortable homes that can be achieved through energy efficiency. Additionally, the campaign called on the Governor to build the green economy through the creation of thousands of energy efficiency jobs and opportunities for businesses that provide energy efficiency services.

The Governor’s announcement positions the state to accelerate energy efficiency, setting in motion a critical process to outline the details and follow through on his initiative. The groups calling for the energy efficiency plan look forward to working with state agencies and others to ensure that specific strategies are quickly implemented and that utilities are held accountable for achieving these new goals. 

In response, a coalition of organizations provided the following comments:

“As a NY-based business that has benefitted from Governor Cuomo’s market-based approach to clean energy, Sealed is excited to see this commitment to ambitious energy savings goals,” Andy Frank, Founder and CEO of Sealed said. “To achieve this goal, however, the Public Service Commission must take the next step and value efficiency as a real energy resource. We look forward to additional details on how these goals will be met in the years ahead.”

“The overall goals and intentions expressed in the Governor’s announcement today represent a huge step forward on a piece of New York’s energy strategy that has been lagging behind,” Jessica Azulay, Program Director at Alliance for a Green Economy said. “The administration deserves praise for answering the public demands for targets that are on par with leading states, for going beyond electricity to tackle efficiency in other sectors through renewable heating, and for assurances that the state’s most vulnerable residents will be included. That said, the public will need to stay engaged to make sure that the Public Service Commission and NYSERDA follow through to turn these bold words into workable policies.”

"The Sierra Club applauds Governor Cuomo’s commitment in setting bold, enforceable energy efficiency and energy conservation targets which are a cost-effective step in helping the state meet its climate goals, saving New Yorkers' money on their energy bills, and creating family-wage jobs," Lisa Dix, Senior New York Representative, Sierra Club said. "The Sierra Club looks forward to working with the Administration and the New York Public Service Commission to ensure these targets are matched with the appropriate funding levels to prioritize equity, ensure investments are made for climate vulnerable and frontline communities, integrate public accountability measures, address the needs of multi-family housing, incentivize comprehensive in-unit improvements, account for beneficial electrification, and preserve housing affordability.”

“Governor Cuomo’s nation-leading energy efficiency initiative demonstrates his commitment to fighting climate change, protecting public health, and creating clean energy jobs,” Miles Farmer, NRDC Climate and Clean Energy Program attorney said. “Today’s announcement is an unmistakable message to New Yorkers, the rest of America, and the world that we won’t halt our environmental progress even as the Trump administration backslides on our climate goals.”

“We’re thrilled that Governor Cuomo is committing NYS to an ambitious new energy efficiency target that will help us achieve our climate goals. Let’s do whatever it takes to meet this goal fast,” Elizabeth Broad, Outreach Director, New Yorkers for Clean Power said.

“We are delighted that the state has committed to aggressive energy efficiency targets with an emphasis on geothermal and air-source heat pump technology, which are the most efficient for clean heating and cooling. The Governor’s pledge to deliver substantial energy savings and job benefits to the 40% of lower income New Yorkers that have yet to see much benefit from the State’s energy transition is very encouraging,” Adam Flint, Director of Clean Energy Programs at the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition said. “We look forward to seeing the details of implementation and working closely with NYSERDA and the Department of Public Service leadership to be sure the State delivers quickly on the Governor’s ambitious goals.”

“We applaud Governor Cuomo’s announcement of a robust energy efficiency target for New York’s utilities and a commitment to ensuring the benefits of energy efficiency reach all New Yorkers,” David Hepinstall, Executive Director of the Association for Energy Affordability said. “Making multifamily buildings energy efficient will help meet both goals, and we look forward to ensuring the implementation plans are effective and in place as soon as possible in order to create safe and affordable housing.”

“Riverkeeper applauds Governor Cuomo today for putting forward ambitious goals and targets for energy efficiency in New York. The Governor responded to more than 8,000 New Yorkers and 50 community and environmental groups who sent letters and signed petitions calling for a ramp up to 3 percent electric savings, additional energy efficiency job opportunities, and an equitable distribution of benefits from a new policy,” Jeremy Cherson, Riverkeeper’s Advocacy Coordinator said. “We look forward to more details on how the Governor and his team plans to walk the talk.”

The NY Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) is excited by Governor Cuomo's energy efficiency statement because it recognizes the important role of heat pumps in efficiently replacing fossil fuels to heat and cool our buildings,” Bill Nowak, Executive Director of NY-GEO said.

“Governor Cuomo’s announcement represents an aggressive and critical commitment to moving New York toward achieving its clean energy and greenhouse gas goals,” Karl R. Rábago, Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, a project of the Elizabeth Haub School of Law said. “We likewise commit to supporting the Governor and strengthening Pace’s 28-year record of work with our clean energy and affordability partners to securing more energy efficiency-supported jobs and environmental benefits for all New Yorkers.”

“Governor Cuomo’s energy efficiency goals point New York State in a strong and much needed direction,” Irene Weiser, coordinator of Fossil Free Tompkins said. “But goals are nothing without the plans to fulfil them. The governor needs to follow through with policy that turns his bold talk into committed action.”.   

"WE ACT For Environmental Justice applauds the Cuomo administration for their commitment to solidifying New York's role as a nation leader in energy efficiency," Stephan Roundtree, policy coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice said. " WE ACT will continue to advocate that policies enacted by the PSC or NYSERDA serve the needs of traditionally marginalized communities across our state."

“This new commitment to energy efficiency is excellent news for an industry that already employs 110,000 New Yorkers, and now will employ more,” Anne Reynolds, Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York said. “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.”

“Lime Energy is ready to commit more resources to achieving New York’s new 2025 energy efficiency target, and we are prepared to double down on our contribution to economic growth and job creation across the state,” Adam Procell, President & CEO Lime Energy said. “Over the last 8 years we have provided energy efficiency upgrades to more than 40,000 New York businesses, and we look forward to continuing our success in delivering the cheapest, cleanest and most abundantly available energy resource. We applaud Governor Cuomo and his policy team for taking these necessary actions so New York can reclaim its leadership position among the states advancing common-sense energy efficiency policy, and we look forward to the details on how they plan on accomplishing this goal.”

 

The Governor’s announcement can be found here.

A variety of background materials can be found at www.nyenergyefficiency.org, including a Fact Sheet on the benefits of establishing a strong energy efficiency program that can be found here.

 

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