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New York’s Clean Building Strategy is Electrifying

By Rick Laezman | Jan 13, 2022
Skyscrapers lit up at night

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As a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, buildings have become a prime target for decarbonization. In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an ambitious plan to reduce emissions by electrifying new buildings at a rapid pace.

In her 2022 State of the State address delivered on Jan. 5, 2022, Hochul announced a plan to accelerate green, electrified or electrification-ready buildings in the state. Her plan aims to achieve 2 million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030. It also includes steps to ensure that all new building construction reaches zero-emissions by 2027.

The 2 million home target is split evenly. A minimum of 1 million are to be electrified, and up to 1 million more will be electrification-ready. The governor plans to achieve these goals through various steps, which are regulatory, financial and legislative.

For example, the plan calls for an upgrade to the state’s appliance efficiency standards. It also calls for a mandate of energy benchmarking for large buildings. This will make it easier to track energy-efficiency improvements over time.

The Governor’s plan does not overlook the goals’ financial demands. It includes collaboration with the finance, mortgage and banking industries to help align supportive private capital. It also calls for establishing a dedicated green electrification fund and electrification assistance for low-income homes sourced by a new $25 billion, five-year housing capital plan adopted by the state’s Homes and Community Renewal agency.

Calling it a “transformative investment,” it’s estimated this financing will help more than 800,000 low-to-moderate income households secure clean energy upgrades.

Hochul’s plan will require the introduction of legislation to adopt new construction codes, which will incorporate the state’s greenhouse gas reduction objectives. Her legislative proposals will also update building codes’ cost-effectiveness criteria to account for the full lifetime of installed equipment.

About The Author

LAEZMAN is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com

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