Geo News

Environmental Groups: Ban Gas for New Builds January 13 2020, 0 Comments

Politico New York Energy Newsletter (2020 01 06) reports:

[Over two dozen] environmental organizations have signed a letter asking Governor Cuomo to consider a requirement that new construction be all-electric — banning gas for heating or cooking in new buildings. Some cities in California have pursued such measures.

Washington City: May Ban Residential Gas Heating January 13 2020, 0 Comments

The New York Times reports:
Seeking to do their part to avert climate change, dozens of cities are exploring ways to limit natural gas heating in new homes. One city may also require existing homeowners to make a switch.

As a progressive-minded city nestled where the Cascade mountains reach the sea, Bellingham, Wash., has long been looking to scale back its contribution to climate change. In recent years, city leaders have converted the streetlights to low-power LEDs, provided bikes for city employees and made plans to halt the burning of sewage solids.

But while the efforts so far have lowered the city’s emissions, none have come close to erasing its carbon footprint. Now, Bellingham is looking to do something that no other city has yet attempted: adopt a ban on all residential heating by natural gas.
See this news item from K5News.

Thanks to Joanne Coons, Maxine Insera, and Rick Steinberg for this tip.

PSC on Renewable Heating January 13 2020, 0 Comments

This Thursday, January 16th, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) plans to issue orders on two major issues.

First notable item on the agenda is the settlement for the Con Edison rate case. Community, environmental and clean energy organizations have been up in arms over the proposal, which leaves in place millions of ratepayer dollars to be spent on gas infrastructure. NY-GEO has signed on to the plan due to several positive elements that support renewable heating, but has no disagreement with the objecting organizations that far more is needed to successfully address climate change.

The second major item is the New Efficiency: New York order on energy efficiency. This order, is expected to require large increases in energy efficiency, including setting targets for replacing fossil fuel heating with heat pumps. A white paper released in December of 2018 indicated an intention to turn over incentive programs to the utilities. This order has been anticipated for months and is expected to have a major impact on renewable heating in New York State.

The Commission meeting starts at 10:30 AM and will be webcast on the internet

Career Corner January 06 2020, 0 Comments

The International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA) is the recognized authority in the United States for developing standards and training for closed loop geothermal heat pump installations. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and IGSHPA are working together to train New Yorkers in the correct way to install geothermal heat pump systems.

Any company interested in receiving NYSERDA geothermal rebates must be certified through the IGSHPA Accredited Installer program. Right now, if the worker is a NYS resident, NYSERDA will pay for half the cost of the training.

IGSHPA offers other certification programs which will also be posted here.

Here is a list of the training courses scheduled. This list will be updated regularly.

In Person IGSHPA AI Training

IGSHPA Trainer Peter Tavino will be teaching the 3-day IGSHPA Accredited Installer geothermal course in West Nyack January 21st to 23rd. NYSERDA funding will allow New York workers to attend this course for half price.

Click here for information about the training. To register, or seek more information, contact Peter Tavino at or text him at 860-459-8279.

Online IGSHPA AI Training

IGSHPA Trainer John Manning will be teaching the IGSHPA Accredited Installer course through a series of weekly Monday evening webinars from February 10th through March 16th. Early bird special registration ends January 17th.

NYSERDA funding will allow New York workers to attend this course at a reduced price and a further early bird discount is available for registration before January 17th. A NATE-proctored exam and fusion training will be available at NY-GEO 2020.

Go here for more information and to register and here for the webinar schedule.

Online Certified Geothermal Designer Course

Are you looking to become a geothermal design professional through IGSHPA's Certified Geothermal Design (CGD) Course? Ed Lohrenz, B.E.S., CGD is conducting this course online Monday evenings from February 10th through April 13th.

Registration is now open and 20 PDH credits are offered for engineers.

Please be sure to leave a comment below.

Advice for NYS's New Year Diet January 06 2020, 0 Comments

While some of us are counting calories or cutting fats or carbs to lose weight as a New Year's resolution, Irene Weiser, in the Albany Times Union (2019 12 30), advises Governor Cuomo to go on a fossil fuel diet. Weiser is a council member in the town of Caroline, and coordinator of Fossil Free Tompkins.

Is Banning Natural Gas Legal? January 06 2020, 0 Comments

Inside Climate News featured an article by Phil McKenna (2019 12 12) titled "These Cities Want to Ban Natural Gas. But Would It Be Legal?" It is subtitled "Cambridge, Massachusetts, got a surprise warning as it considered a natural gas ban to reduce its climate impact."

Although California municipalities have recently passed natural gas bans, it may not be that easy for those in other states since building codes and utility regulations vary from state to state. California regulators had no problem with the local bans of natural gas there, but cities in Massachusetts might run afoul of state law.

McKenna writes:

The reason: the city ordinances and town bylaws in Massachusetts may conflict with existing regulations that are governed by the state. During a Cambridge City Council committee meeting Wednesday, the city's attorney advised that a proposed gas ban there might not stand up to legal scrutiny. The state attorney general's office is also reviewing the legality of a ban approved last month by the Boston suburb of Brookline on natural gas heating in new buildings…

CA Cities Lead Way to a Gas-Free Future January 06 2020, 0 Comments

The Sierra Club Web Page features a piece by Matt Gough (2019 12 19), about 23 California forward-looking municipalities that are taking steps toward fossil-free heating.

He writes:

Cities and counties in California serve as the North Star as the state navigates a transition from gas to clean-energy buildings. Motivated by the climate crisis, worsening air pollution, escalating gas rates, and safety risks from gas, a new cohort of local government leaders is emerging in California…

This blog summarizes the cities and counties that have already adopted gas bans or electrification building codes…


US Military Unprepared For Climate Threats December 30 2019, 0 Comments

Under a presidential administration that rejects science and ignores climate risks, the US Department of Defense has been slow to respond to them. That is raising concerns from both military think tanks and Congress' watchdog agency.

In its own report to Congress earlier this year, the Defense Department identified 77 of the 79 military bases assessed as facing significant threats from climate change, including recurrent flooding, drought, wildfires and desertification.

The report acknowledged climate change is a national security issue and said the department "must be able to adapt current and future operations" to this new reality.

Check out this instructive graphic on the vulnerability of military bases.

Thanks to Green Energy Times (2019 12 23) for alerting us to this item.

NY-GEO on Energy & Environment Power 50 List December 30 2019, 0 Comments

From City and State First Read newsletter 2019 12 23, NY-GEO makes the City & State's Energy & Environment Power 50 List:

As New York confronts a changing climate, the leaders of the energy industry and the environmental community are playing crucial roles in shaping state policy. The Energy & Environment Power 50 list identifies the executives, advocates, academics and others who are true power players in New York.

Con Ed Climate Study Projects Impacts December 30 2019, 0 Comments

EIN Newsdesk reported on the Con Edison climate resiliency plan released on December 20th. The report predicted extreme heat, coastal storm surges, inland flooding, and more violent storms as the major climate-driven impacts to Con Edison.

To protect its electric, gas and steam delivery systems and customers from the impacts of climate change, it will need to invest between $1.8 billion and $5.2 billion by 2050.

Thanks to Green Energy Times (2019 12 21) for alerting us to this item.