NY-GEO on Westchester Gas Moratorium
January 30, 2019
Thoughtful Response Needed on Westchester Gas Moratorium
Con Edison recently declared a moratorium on new natural gas hook ups in Westchester County. The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) offers the following comments on the moratorium:
To meet its climate goals, New York will need to focus on all three of the main sectors where fossil fuels are burned - transportation, electric generation and heating. Important progress is already being made in the transportation and electric generation sectors. We’re just getting started when it comes to heating. Most people don’t realize that about a third of New York’s GHGs are produced through heating buildings by oil, gas, propane and wood. Moving on from burning fossil fuels to heat buildings will be absolutely crucial if New York is going to meet its climate goal of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80% by 2050.
Under Governor Cuomo’s New Efficiency: New York initiative, which looks to accelerate energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through strategies to support building developers, commercial and institutional building owners, industrial facilities and residential households, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) identified heat pumps as a clean, efficient and renewable alternative to continued fossil fuel heating.
Additionally, Con Edison has requested Public Service Commission (PSC) approval to install 8,800 renewable geothermal heating and cooling systems in Westchester County under their Non-Pipelines Solutions Portfolio. In the short term, if adequate incentives are provided by utilities and NYSERDA, consumers who are looking for gas could instead get affordable heat pumps. In the longer term, utilities across the state are expected to have robust heat pump programs in place under New Efficiency: New York. In addition, Con Ed has initiated a “Rider Z” electricity rate that will reduce the costs of operating heat pumps for residential customers.
While there has been some misinformation lately that has suggested electric heating options were not cost-effective compared to natural gas, with multiple incentives and programs available, consumers have cost-effective options as they look for clean energy solutions.
NY-GEO urges everyone to take a deep breath and embrace thoughtful, non-polluting solutions to the challenges Con Ed is facing in providing heating options to Westchester rate payers.
New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO)
The New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) is a not-for-profit trade organization representing geothermal heat pump (GHP) installers, manufacturers, distributors, general contractors, engineers, renewable energy consultants and industry stakeholders from throughout New York State and beyond. NY-GEO was incorporated in New York State on July 18, 2014 as a domestic 501(c)(6) not-for-profit corporation.