2021 Webinar Series - 8 CLCPA Update

The Climate Leadership & Community Protection Act calls for recommendations from the Climate Action Council, and as subset of those recommendations will come from the Energy Efficiency & Housing Panel. That’s the panel where heat pump oriented recommendations will come from, so it’s of great interest to our stakeholders. We’ll hear from 4 people involved in process and get a feel for the recommendations being put forth.







  1. Do the mitigation strategies include adding cooling for those with insufficient cooling?
    1. We expect that cooling will need to be added in NYS - especially as we adapt to what will likely be a warmer climate
    2. The Panel recommends codes and standards that would phase out fossil fuel heating equipment (at end of useful life for retrofits, per milestone dates that allow the market to plan and adjust); the large majority of buildings would then install energy efficient heat pumps, which typically would provide both heating and cooling
  2. Why are we waiting 10-15 years to require electrification of new buildings? Doesn't need to happen now?
    1. The panel is not proposing waiting 15 years to require electrification of new buildings.  It is proposing 2025 for single family new construction and 2030 for large buildings.  While there was some debate among the panel on whether those dates could be accelerated, the majority view was that the market could not likely scale much quicker
  3. In terms of financing, does the Council consider on-bill financing and Pay As You Save (PAYS) models to be important?
    1. Both were discussed and considered to be potentially important models worth exploring further
  4. Was the additional cooling allocated to the 28% LMI households without AC, or just as a percentage increase over current cooling due to HDD increase?
  5. Does the Council anticipate following a market development strategy that focuses on market-rate customers first in order to help providers and manufacturers lower hard and soft costs?  Or will a dual-track strategy that prioritizes LMI customers be needed
    1. The Panel discussed a dual-track strategy - placing priority on LMI households and disadvantaged communities to drive energy/housing upgrades as well as job/economic opportunities in these communities. Market-rate adoption (with support) will be needed concurrently to reduce costs.
  6. Have you connected with Parsons school, Healthy Material Labs?
    1. I don't believe so. Thank you for the suggestion.
  7. How does the global warming impact of current refrigerants used within heat pumps compare with the carbon impact of the fuels they are replacing?
    1. It is important to prevent refrigerant leakage and then to require reclamation or destruction of refrigerants from appliances at end-of-life, with support/incentives to aid local industry here. Innovation toward low and ultra low global warming potential refrigerants is likewise critical. The global warming impact of current refrigerants (in the case of a catastrophic leakage) is still lower than the reduction in GHG emissions from reducing fossil fuel use, but we can't afford to accept leakage.
    2. it's John Ciovacco and I've had a good look at this.  The basics are that refrigerants used in heat pumps that displace fossil fuels are almost always a net benefit when comparing the large CO2 reductions over the 15 to 25 years of fossil fuel displacement.  Even if you take something like R410A on a 20 year basis which is over 4000 times more potent than CO2 by weight.  Packaged systems with all the refrigerant factories charged in one place have lower refrigerant per ton than split systems which need to also account for the refrigerant lines to distribution heads or air handlers.  So refrigerant per ton (capacity) needs to be considered.  Also the source of the electricity matters - presently upstate is cleaner than midstate which is better than downstate.  So today an upstate heat pump displaces more CO2, benefiting from the cleaner grid.  Eventually all the grid electricity is expected to be clean so that will not be a factor. I can share my analysis with you.
  8. Communication of these changes to residents, municipalities and businesses is paramount so they can plan for this fossil fuel free future. This seems missing from your presentation. Do you have outreach plans? Never mind, answered.
    1. Discussed extensively.  Widespread recognition of need.  Would be glad to discuss further.  Panel proposed 5 major elements -
  9. In terms of deployment strategy in the early stages of market development, did the Council consider focusing resources in specific geographical areas as a proof of concept, rather than spreading efforts statewide?
  10. Cooling Equity should be a top priority, especially if there’s no existing cooling equipment to replace. This has immediate effects on economic opportunity. Children sleeping at temps above 77 degrees suffer effects on brain function, for example. Is this being prioritized?
    1. Thank you. The Panel did recognize the importance of cooling (as well as safe and healthy homes broadly).
  11. In addition to the global warming impact, the combustion of fossil fuels has significant health impacts. Studies by EPA and others show that hundreds of New Yorkers die prematurely each year due to fossil fuel pollution. Did the panel consider the impact of non-GHG emissions? Are there any proceedings in New York now focused on either estimating or addressing the Social Cost of Pollution, not just that of Carbon?
    1. Answered Live. Public health impacts will be addressed in greater detail in the "Integration Analysis" phase of the Climate Action Council process which is underway now, to inform the Council's issuance of a scoping plan.
  12. Many LMI customers do not own their homes or apartments to take advantage of incentives and programs to make the appropriate building modifications for efficient electrification heating and cooling solutions.  How will these programs target those types of building owners to incentivize them to take such actions and make them affordable so that rents to the LMI customers will not be impacted?
    1. This is a reason that the Panel recommends placing priority on public investment and programs that support decarbonization of affordable housing, with careful consideration to affordability for LMI households. Specific program design was not tackled by the Panel.
  13. Question for all panelists:
    1. 2023 - Electrification ready in new builts
    2. 2025 - Electric Heating System in new builts
    3. The difference is small, why take a knee on the one yard line and not score a touchdown. Why not require an electric heating system in newly built single family homes mandatory in 2023? 
    4. That way the industry is ensured the demand in the marketplace and the industry can grow quicker and develop the workforce quicker. We are building 20-40 new buildings net zero emission houses  every year for the last 12 years, why are we waiting till 2025?
    5. Answered Live - lots of debate and discussion on the dates - agreed 2025 for single family and 2030 for construction was aggressive - sooner dates might not accommodate the market readiness. And need to take building code cycle into account - experts in building codes thought  sooner sunset dates would not be feasible
  14. Every fossil fuel system heating system installed today represents a missed opportunity to change that system for 15-20 years - bringing us to 2040 - as well as investing in distribution systems that may not be a good match for heat pumps in the future, requiring further investment from building owners (and/or government programs) to retrofit the buildings.  Can we not prohibit fossil fuels in new construction sooner - especially large buildings, which have a much higher heating load, and are more difficult to retrofit? Wouldn’t requiring buildings to design for the future energy system sooner rather than later result in a more efficient use of private and public funds?
    1. Answered Live
  15. What % of GHG reductions do you anticipate that these recommendations will reach?
    1. Initial modeling suggests that the package of policies recommended by the Panel could reduce GHG emissions from the buildings sector by nearly 30% below 1990 levels by 2030. Looking out to 2050, this policy package and some innovation in technologies would put the buildings sector on track to meet the economy-wide requirement of an 85% emissions reduction.
  16. The public outreach portion of the proposal is something that HeatSmart programs are already doing. Do you see the outreach as part of the energy hubs as different than what we’re doing now?
    1. As noted, the Panel recognized the ability to build upon these important public outreach efforts - at a new, really ambitious scale.
  17. The CLCPA's final recommendations will not be issued for several years - Which of the initiatives identified in your panel's recommendations are already underway? Which can start moving forward before final CLCPA recommendations?
  18. With all of the overlap of the outlined needs, does this panel support the passing of the Climate and Community investment act? If not, why?
    1. Answered Live.
  19. Why did the EE and Housing Advisory Panel not include an economy-wide carbon fee in its recommendations?  Does that mean that the Council as a whole is unlikely to take that up?
    1. Answered live by Janet Joseph - majority view of the EE & Housing panel agrees with an economy wide reductions needed and some members were supportive of CCIA but the panel did not reach a majority of support for CCIA - the recommendation to the Climate Action Council was to look at solutions like the CCIA.
  20. Wonderful presentation.  Thank you RuthAnne. Is there more information available on the GHG Emissions?  I'd be interested in digging into the details, especially since the emissions were presented based on 20-year GWP.
  21. What are the top several challenges to making market based financial institutions become major players in the transition?
  22. Sorry to repeat but this question is still open: how does it work when there’s no cooling equipment to replace, or there is insufficient cooling? Do we wait until heating equipment needs to be replaced? And how do we account for it? Do we assume a hypothetical baseline with inefficient cooling so we can still count savings? How do we switch from tenant to owner-paid cooling?
  23. Homes and buildings need to be made safely energy efficient to lower heating and cooling loads.  This will enable the heat pumps meeting them to be smaller and more cost effective, helping the whole transition - and if solar is powering the heat pumps, the amount becomes smaller and more cost effective.
  24. With the aggressive air source heat pump incentives versus geothermal what is the strategy to deal with the looming winter peaking challenge on the grid?
  25. According to the answer above, these recommendations only account for a 30% reduction in GHG from this sector for 2030 when the law says 40% reductions. Do you anticipate that the transportation and electric generation sectors will overshoot? If so, can you provide that analysis?
  26. I understand that no specific recommendations have been made yet, but what changes to electricity and gas tariff structures are being considered or studied by DPS and/or the Council?
  27. Absent carbon pricing, what mechanisms are proposed to shift funding responsibility for this energy transformation from the ratepayers?
  28. If sticking to the 2025 date for single family new built homes, when will that date be made public. 
  29. Currently customers sometimes go with gas when the  electrified solution is a few hundred dollars more, especially lower income customers which are price sensitive.
  30. They would likely not do so if they are aware that they are unable to replace the perceived “cheaper” solution when that new gas equipment needs to be replaced after 2030.
  31. I’ve been focused on the Retrofit NY initiative for quite some time.  The lack of an industry in North America to manufacture prefabricated integrated building envelope solutions demonstrates a gap in the market that could be effectively filled with new businesses situated within, by and for the disadvantaged communities that would most benefit. There are more than 2 million apartment units in NYS, a large portion of which are in the LMI community. Building envelope upgrades will, of course, enhance the efficacy and affordability of heat pumps. I would like to hear about targeted solutions to address this market gap. I estimate a potential of nearly $100 billion in economic activity in NYS alone.