New York plans legislation to require zero emissions for new construction by 2027

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Image from New York Governor's office

The State of New York intends to require all new building construction reaches zero-emissions by 2027.

As well, Gov. Kathy Hochul said in her Jan. 5 State of the State announcement that legislation will be introduced to achieve  achieve two million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030.

“This unprecedented commitment to curb building emissions, which cause more than one third of New York’s climate pollution, will also ensure that more than 800,000 low-to-moderate income households can secure clean energy upgrades,” the statement said.

Proposed new construction building codes will:

  • Require new construction statewide to have zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2027;
  • incorporate achievement of New York State’s greenhouse gas reduction objectives in developing the new construction code;
  • update building code cost-effectiveness criteria to account for the full lifetime of installed equipment; and
  • expand the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to include the president and CEO of NYSERDA and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner.

This commitment is part of the governor’s comprehensive agenda to decarbonize buildings in New York, which also includes bringing green energy solutions to over 1,000 public schools.

The plan to achieve a minimum of one million electrified homes and up to one million electrification-ready homes by 2030 is anchored by legislative and policy actions including:

  • Requiring zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction no later than 2027;
  • upgrading New York’s appliance efficiency standards, reducing energy use while saving New Yorkers billions of dollars in utility costs;
  • mandating energy benchmarking for large buildings, making it easier to track energy-efficiency improvements over time;
  • convening the finance, mortgage and banking industries to help align private capital with this housing sustainability goal;
  • providing the training programs necessary to ensure that New York has a skilled workforce to deliver these services;
  • introducing 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;
  • directing New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Department of Public Service (DPS), and Department of State (DOS) to deliver an executable plan to achieve this goal this year, with a funding proposal and strategies to leverage private capital;
  • raising the current rate of electrification of approximately 20,000 homes per year more than tenfold by the end of the decade; and
  • establishing a dedicated green electrification fund and electrify low-income homes through HCR’s new $25 billion, five-year housing capital plan, which will advance the state’s goals of creating green affordable housing.

As part of this plan, Hochul will also direct DPS to ensure that gas utilities minimize investments in costly new gas infrastructure, promote alternatives to minimize gas demand, and engage members of disadvantaged communities fully and fairly in the gas transition, the statement says.

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