Dear Governor Hochul:
We applaud your landmark 2022 commitment to 2 million climate-friendly homes by 2030, including 800,000 low-to-moderate income households. Now we urge you to marshal the resources and policies needed to realize that commitment and put New York on the path to electrify 90% of buildings by 2050 while prioritizing the most vulnerable communities for healthy, affordable housing and energy, as well as good, green jobs.
We urge you to launch initiatives to overcome barriers to weatherization, electrification, and healthy housing
- Create a Green Affordable Pre-Electrification (GAP) Fund for Low-to-Moderate Income households to achieve your commitment to 2 million climate-friendly homes. The GAP Fund would include tenant protections and address barriers to electrification that are not covered by other programs, such as deferred maintenance, hazard remediation, electrical upgrades, weatherization, energy efficiency, and an all-electric replacement for fossil fuel appliances at the end of their useful life.
- Support a whole home retrofit approach by streamlining access to state energy programs and incentives and strengthening NYSERDA’s Regional Clean Energy Hubs.
- Direct the New York Green Bank to establish affordable financing for pre-electrification and electrification. The Green Bank should work in partnership with NYSERDA to pair grant and loan funds to provide 0% interest loans to low-to-moderate income households and low-interest loans to all other households.
Protect New York from rising energy costs and the climate crisis by including language from the
following bills in your Executive Budget:
- All-Electric Building Act (S6843C|A8431B of 2022) – modernizes building codes to require new buildings to be all-electric and highly efficient, starting in 2024 with buildings under 7 stories and by 2027 for larger buildings.
- Gas Transition and Affordable Energy Act (S8198|A9329 of 2022) – eliminates subsidies for new gas hookups (the “100 foot rule”), enables neighborhood scale building decarbonization by eliminating the “obligation to serve” gas, and addresses operating costs by ensuring no household pays more than 6% of their income for energy.
- Energy Efficiency, Equity, and Jobs Act (S3126C|A3996C of 2022) – deploys funding for cost-saving energy efficiency retrofits where they are most needed— in low-income communities and communities of color. Allows NYSERDA to fund non-energy measures like lead and mold remediation to remove barriers to efficiency upgrades in older homes and ensures that the workers hired for energy efficiency upgrades come from disadvantaged communities.
- Automatic Data Matching (S8362A|A9099A of 2022) – ensures that all eligible low-income households are automatically enrolled in electric/gas companies Energy Affordability Programs, which provide much needed monthly bill assistance to lower energy costs.
- Modifications to the Home Energy Assistance Program (“HEAP”) (S9578 of 2022) and Emergency HEAP (S8361|A9121) – authorizes the automatic re-enrollment of eligible low-income households into energy assistance programs and establishes an emergency heating energy assistance program, respectively.
Thank you for your consideration of these recommendations.