Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced an acceleration of energy efficiency in New York, including a plan to achieve a new target for greenhouse gas emission reductions, decrease consumer energy costs and create job opportunities.
Meeting the new energy efficiency target will deliver nearly one third of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to meet New York's climate goal of 40 percent reduction by 2030. This announcement is part of the governor's state of the state proposal to develop a milestone Earth Day energy efficiency target and strategy.
"Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way for New Yorkers to lower utility bills, curb harmful emissions and battle climate change," Cuomo said. "As the federal government abdicates its responsibility to safeguard our environment, we must continue our bold action to reduce emissions and protect all New Yorkers, today and in the future, from the devastating effects of climate change."
Statewide, New Yorkers pay about $35 billion annually for electricity and heating fuels, and buildings are responsible for 59 percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions. The new 2025 energy efficiency target will cut emissions and energy costs by incentivizing building developers, commercial and institutional building owners, and residential households to pursue building improvements to reduce energy consumption by 185 trillion British thermal units below forecasted energy use in 2025, the equivalent to energy consumed by 1.8 million New York homes.
Meeting the target will accelerate achievement of energy efficiency in the next 7 years by more than 40 percent over the current path. The new energy efficiency target will not only save substantial heating fuels but will set New York State on a path to achieve annual electric efficiency savings of 3 percent of investor-owned utility sales in 2025.
The initiative will support the growth of cost-effective private sector energy efficiency businesses and further Reforming the Energy Vision opportunities for third-parties to partner directly with utilities. These strategies will deliver benefits to New York consumers through new building retrofits, efficient appliances, and innovative technologies like heat pumps.
New York's investor-owned utilities will also be called on to achieve more in both scale and innovation through their energy efficiency activities. By accelerating innovation to deliver energy efficiency solutions, New York will cut emissions by cost-effectively reducing electricity and building fuel demand across the state.
This initiative will support the Clean Energy Standard mandate to generate 50 percent of the state's electricity through renewable energy sources by 2030 and build on New York's national leadership on clean energy and climate change.
Energy efficiency is a significant part of New York State's clean energy economy, with more than 110,000 New Yorkers employed in energy efficiency-related jobs. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will commit an additional $36.5 million to train over 19,500 New Yorkers for clean energy jobs to support this rapidly growing industry.