NY-GEO Westchester Moratorium Press Release


NY-GEO Responds to Westchester Gas Expansion Moratorium

 For Immediate Release

For more information contact:

Bill Nowak, Executive Director, NY-GEO

518-3136-GEO, nygeoinfo@gmail.com  NY-GEO.org


Buffalo, NY (January 31, 2019):  The New York Geothermal Energy Organization today released a statement (attached) regarding Con Edison’s recently announced moratorium on providing gas service to new customers in Westchester County.  The statewide trade association urged a thoughtful response to the moratorium, in what has quickly become an enflamed topic in some quarters.

NY-GEO noted the moratorium comes in the context of New York’s ambitious climate goals and points out that transitioning away from burning fossil fuels for heating buildings will be a key element of the State’s planned 80% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  The statement brings out the role that heat pumps can play in satisfying customers who have been otherwise looking to natural gas to meet their heating needs.

 A key part of NY-GEO’s message is that Con Edison is seeking Public Service Commission (PSC) approval to install 8,800 geothermal heating and cooling systems in Westchester, which could certainly meet the short-term demand from those seeking natural gas service, and provide them a cleaner, safer, affordable alternative.  NY-GEO also notes that the PSC is requiring utilities to develop plans for a massive shift to efficient electric heat pumps under the New Efficiency: New York Commission order of December 13, 2018.

In addition, the statement points to a recently authorized voluntary “Rider Z” electric rate which should provide lower electricity rates for residential Con Ed ratepayers who install geothermal heat pumps.

In commenting on the statement, Jens Ponikau, Vice President of the NY Geothermal Energy Organization noted: “Air and ground source heat pumps are field proven in New York State to serve the entire heating and hot water needs for single family, small and large multifamily, and commercial buildings.  They provide a more cost-effective alternative to the expansion of the gas distribution network, and also operate emission free. In other counties, like Sweden, Norway or Denmark, which have already phased out fossil fuels, their installation fueled the local economies through the creation of high paid jobs for installers, designers and manufacturers."

NY-GEO’s statement can be found on the web at https://ny-geo.org/pages/ny-geo-on-westchester-gas-moratorium


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.