With Buildings Accounting for More than a Third of New York's Climate Pollution, Governor Launches Unprecedented Commitment to Accelerating Green, Electrified or Electrification-Ready Buildings

January 5, 2022

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a plan to achieve 2 million climate-friendly, electrified or electrification-ready homes by 2030 as part of the 2022 State of the State. Governor Hochul also announced proposed legislation to ensure that all new building construction reaches zero-emissions by 2027. This unprecedented commitment to curb building emissions, which cause more than one third of New York's climate pollution, will also ensure that more than 800,000 low-to-moderate income households can secure clean energy upgrades.

"To make real progress on climate change, it's time to tackle major sources of pollution head-on, ensure greener housing is available to all New Yorkers, and pave the way toward a more sustainable future," Governor Hochul said. "This transformative investment in green infrastructure will cement New York's status at the forefront of climate action and ensure equity in our transition to a cleaner, greener state."

Governor Hochul's plan to achieve a minimum of 1 million electrified homes and up to 1 million electrification-ready homes by 2030 is anchored by a robust series of legislative and policy actions. The plan will:

  • Require zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions for new construction no later than 2027
  • Upgrade New York's appliance efficiency standards, reducing energy use while saving New Yorkers billions of dollars in utility costs
  • Mandate energy benchmarking for large buildings, making it easier to track energy-efficiency improvements over time
  • Convene the finance, mortgage and banking industries to help align private capital with this housing sustainability goal
  • Provide the training programs necessary to ensure that New York has a skilled workforce to deliver these services
  • Introduce legislation to level the playing field for clean energy alternatives and end the obligation to serve customers with natural gas that currently exists in state law, tailored to maintain affordability for New York's most vulnerable customers
  • Direct New York State Energy and Development Authority (NYSERDA), Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), Department of Public Service (DPS), and Department of State (DOS) to deliver an executable plan to achieve this goal this year, with a funding proposal and strategies to leverage private capital
  • Raise the current rate of electrification of approximately 20,000 homes per year more than tenfold by the end of the decade
  • Establish a dedicated green electrification fund and electrify low-income homes through HCR's new $25 billion, five-year housing capital plan, which will advance the state's goals of creating green affordable housing
  • As part of this plan, Governor Hochul will also direct DPS to ensure that gas utilities minimize investments in costly new gas infrastructure, promote alternatives to minimize gas demand, and engage members of disadvantaged communities fully and fairly in the gas transition.

    Governor Hochul will also put forward a nation-leading legislative proposal for new construction building codes that will:

    • Require new construction statewide to have zero on-site greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2027
    • Incorporate achievement of New York State's greenhouse gas reduction objectives in developing the new construction code
    • Update building code cost-effectiveness criteria to account for the full lifetime of installed equipment
    • Expand the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council to include the President and CEO of NYSERDA and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner

    This commitment is part of the Governor's comprehensive agenda to decarbonize buildings in New York, which also includes bringing green energy solutions to over 1,000 public schools.

    New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

    New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $33 billion in 102 large-scale renewable and transmission projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.6 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting nearly 158,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2020, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.